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Talya
2008-01-19, 01:46 PM
I've been reading about the upcoming cataclysm and how it "reboots" the forgotten realms setting, getting rid of most establishments, high level NPCs (although, of course, Drizzt and Elminster survive), rearranging the cosmos, and the like.

Why? If I wanted to play a low-powered setting without many strong iIconics and lacking in depth and history, I'd play Eberron! That setting already exists! I want to keep reading the Realms as they are! The world setting is great for storytelling, why ruin it? They're pissing me off.

I think my settings will branch away from official FR timeline somewhat before Cyric kills Mystra, thank you very much.

kamikasei
2008-01-19, 01:53 PM
I agree, it doesn't make much sense to me. Presumably it's partly motivated by a desire to make things more accessible for new players. However, if a new player wants to play FR in the first place, it's probably due to novels or games set in the pre-reboot FR, so why play in a version of the setting that's chucked half of what attracted you to it?

It seems to me like a metastory event which changed the cosmology around a bit but kept the timeline and characters where they were would have been much more appropriate.

RTGoodman
2008-01-19, 01:54 PM
I'm also not really a big fan of it (they killed Helm! Why!), but I think it's sort of necessary. Isn't the Realms going to be the setting for the next RPGA "Living" campaign? If so, it makes more sense for some of the stuff to be gone (especially the uber-NPCs).

Naga-Darmag
2008-01-19, 02:18 PM
Don’t they do this every time they switch system. Wasn’t time of trouble the switch to 3.0? It give them the opportunely to do the big changes they want to do to the setting and wasn’t it that what gave it a long complex history in the first please? And the old stuff will still be around, there’s no rule that say that you cant play 3,5 after 4 edition is realest :smalltongue: .

Talya
2008-01-19, 02:23 PM
Don’t they do this every time they switch system. Wasn’t time of trouble the switch to 3.0? It give them the opportunely to do the big changes they want to do to the setting and wasn’t it that what gave it a long complex history in the first please? And the old stuff will still be around, there’s no rule that say that you cant play 3,5 after 4 edition is realest :smalltongue: .

The time of troubles made some minor cosmology changes. Mystra died and returned (with a new face), Myrkul, Baal, and Bane (temporarily, at least) bit it, while Cyric and Kelemvor rose to godhood. However, this cataclysm promises to kill every spellcaster over 14th level in the realms.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-19, 02:33 PM
Heh. I got into FR (and D&D) with NWN, followed by free 2nd edition; I'm still smarting over the whole "No planscape thing":smallamused:

Seriously; WotC seem to be pushing it a bit. They seem to be utterly determined to Ret-con across the board. Now, I don't mind that so much, but it can be taken to excess when you hit a host of minor details, trying to "fine tune" you end up with a lot of beaten heads (Don't get me STARTED about the new Tiefling. That's just...). Can you link me to any of the stuff discussing this "2nd Cataclysm." I'm taking that a basic outline (judging by WotC blurbs and you guys) goes like this

Cyric kills Mystra.

Big weave explosion

Lot a wizards dead (that anti-arcanist family must be happy:smalltongue: )

Can someone get me a more indepth description? or is that about it.:smallwink:

Roderick_BR
2008-01-19, 03:36 PM
Feels like those "Infinite" sagas in DC comics...

Moral Wiz
2008-01-19, 04:04 PM
I'll tell you what all 4th edition seems like to me.

One More Day. Spider-man. Spoilers below.

For those who don't read spider-man (including me) This was basically a recent comic run, at the end of which, Spider-mans marriage, a staple of the comic book for about 20 years) was ret-conned.

Now, this alone would be OK. But a whole bunch of other details were changed into the bargain, in a way that made little apparent sense, beyond "It's Magic" Some of these were important, character defining events, such as the death of close friends (Harry Osborne, in case anyone hasn't read it yet.) and Spidey revealing his Identity during Civil War.

And they used a rather irritatingly forced seeming plot line to add to this. Spider man has to make a deal with the devil, to save his aunt. Who is ancient, almost on the end of life, and has spoken fondly of passing on, and watching Peter from beyond the grave.

It wasn't mind numbing; just sloppy. But that was enough to win it hatred (bare with me, please. I've almost reached the D&D ;p)

Atop this, to add even further irritation, the final arc was good (From an art PoV). I'm not certian of this, but by accouts, it was superb; tragic, and moving artwork.

But the run isn't known for that. It's known for the down points, and that is mainly due to an excess of sloppy Ret-con. I start to worry that the Realms in perticular, and 4th Ed in general, will be similar. 2nd to 3rd, as far as I could tell, made some changes to fluff, but kept it, basically in tact. For 4th, WotC have decided to clean house. But in doing so, they are basically tinkering with EVERYTHING. That's just gratuitous. (I don't like the direction they are going in either, but that's too OT, even for me) Fixing things, yeah, ok, but a lot of this is mearly stylistic (tiefling... Half Orc...:smallfurious: ) and not nessecary.

The point is, all this change, and tinkering, will probably encompass everything, the realms, with it's rich history, worst of all. And that's a strong incentive to not touch 4th with a pair of tongs.

Sorry for the rant; but needed it off my chest. And it was sort of on topic.:smallwink:

CASTLEMIKE
2008-01-19, 04:28 PM
Why? I could be wrong but I'm thinking lots of $$$$$$. With 4E a player could get by with one or a few core books and if they are willing to wait a few months none by utilizing the new 4E SRD since most of the fluff would still be good without the century reset of wild magic and spell plagues by taking a little time and just swapping out the new mechanics for a particular NPC or NPCs in a campaign.

Tobrian
2008-01-19, 06:33 PM
Seriously, what are they thinking??

No, scratch that, I know exactly what WotC is probably thinking: There's not much left to publish under 3.5, thematically (all the classes and concepts and whatnot have been done to death in supplements like the Complete XX series, sometimes twice: Complete Arcane and Complete Mage, anyone? Complete Warrior and Tome of Nine Swords?). Forgotten Realms and Eberron have been milked dry of supplements. The power creep has reached astronomic levels. So let's "reboot" the whole thing with 4E, and republished everything again... Core Books, class books... Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting, FR Player's Guide, Races of Faerun, Magic of Faerun.... dito for Eberron setting. That way you start "fresh" and can slowly reintroduce the power creep. :smallmad:

The problem with the d20 D&D rules is that they're too strongly interwoven with their settings. The rules system is not "neutral", it's sort of a metagaming system. Change it, and it's like changing the rules of physics in our universe. Looking back, the change from 2nd edition to 3E was still relatively mild... wizards still needed spellbooks, they might have a few more spells available, and some spells worked totally differently, infravision was changed to darkvision, but it was still recognisable. Now 4E comes along and from what I've gleaned from the "Wizards Presents", races and classes and the world will be radically different, especially in the fluff details, where the players feel it the most.

So why the hell are they not simply invented in totally new setting for 4E? If they are going to "retire" World of Greyhawk, why not retire Forgotten Realms, too? Eberron might still be "young" enough as a setting that it can be rewritten for 4e. But this talk of "rebooting" and "cataclysm" to "adapt" an old setting to the fancy new game, shall I tell you what it reminds me of? Way back, in the 1990s, TSR tried the same thing with the Dragonlance setting, to "revitalize" the world, and it pissed off a lot of fans. Before 3E came along, there had been two systems: AD&D 2nd Edition and D&D Players' Options. I really liked Players Options, btw; it didn't try to "rewrite" an existing gameworld. It was merely a more freestyle system of character creation withno rigid classes or races, a point-buy system faintly reminiscent of GURPS or HERO system (I suspect that some of the ideas from PO made it into 3E in the form of PrCs and racial/class substitution levels). But I guess lots of"hardcore" AD&D players who had never played anything but D&D didn't like PO. Anyway, Dragonlance had been in hiatus for some years because TSR had not supported the world... no new maps, no background material. Then, one day, they announced a "reboot" of Dragonlance under the SAGA system, called "Dragonlance Fifth Age". They hired new authors to write about a new world-changing cataclysm called the "Chaos War", which brought the 4th Age to an end and literally smashed whole continents on Krynn, banished the gods of Krynn from the world again, even banished Krynn's trademark three moons and replaced it with one pale white moon. Along with the moons, the old Orders of Wizardry fell... no more wizards, no Towers of Sorcery, no more clerics, and old 4th age magic items were now only useful to harvest mysterical energy from. Thus was the 5th Age born, called the Age of Mortal, a misnomer if I ever saw one, because shortly after, the 5th Age novels and game supplements introduced the new metaplot enemy: the Dragon Overlords; huge gigantic freakishly large and powerful dragons, who ate normale D&D dragons for breakfast (literally) and laid ruin to vast stretches of the world, enslaving and generally being unbeatable opponents of near godlike power while the power levels of player races had been reduced to a post-war state. :smallconfused:

And that was because the 5th Age world had to be "adapted" to SAGA, and SAGA system was completely unlike AD&D 2nd Ed. Wizardly magic was replaced with "sorcery", clerical magic with "mysticism", very reminiscent of the way magic works in Ars Magica RPG; or in D&D terms, imagine a mixture of channeling and psionics instead of "spells". Now, don't get me wrong, I still think that the SAGA system implemented some great ideas. As far as the rules went, it was a solid working system. It had an equivalent of Action Points. I should have loved to use the new magic system, because I dislike the Vancian memorization system. (Just as I technically like some of the changes WotC made in 4E, esp to the wizard class...) And last but not least, suddenly there was a plethora of new supplements for DL!

BUT. I would have loved to play SAGA if they had implemented it in a completely new world setting! But instead the raped the world I knew and loved and made it unrecognizable. (It didn't help that some years later, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman came back to the writing staff and partically "rewrote" the changes, bringing back the gods of Krynn etc.; then when D&D 3E was published, the d20 Dragonlance books more or less ignored the whole early post-Chaos War stuff and the world was reset to resemble what it had been under AD&D 2nd ed. (Only now with druids and bards and monks which like orcs had never before existed in Dragonlance. Oh well. At least there was a logical place for bards and druids, because gods of music and nature had been part of the setting from the beginning.)

I have nothing against advancing a metaplot. Worlds that never change become static. But if the sole reason for a world-shaking change is the introduction of new rules that rewrite the classes and races, then I get angry. I know GM who ignore the Time of Troubles in FR to this day.

I might love D&D 4E if it had been introduced as a completely new fantasy system, if it didn't try to change existing game worlds. Heck, if I had the chance to try out 4E unbiased, I might even come to the conclusion that 4E is superior to 3.5 system. (Although I find the animé/WOW/Hongkong movie feel of 4E a bit annoying.) But a "reboot"? WTF? Luckily I'm not emotionally invested in FR. But no more Planescape...? :smallannoyed:

horseboy
2008-01-19, 07:21 PM
Only now with druids and bards and monks which like orcs had never before existed in Dragonlance. Oh well. At least there was a logical place for bards and druids, because gods of music and nature had been part of the setting from the beginning.)
Weren't monks in prior books the guys that guarded the library thingie with that really old guy that always wrote books?

mostlyharmful
2008-01-19, 07:36 PM
Weren't monks in prior books the guys that guarded the library thingie with that really old guy that always wrote books?

That was more the traditional western monks, ie chanting book reading cloistered clerics rather than butt kicking jackie chans. So you've got friar tuck and then suddenly along comes neo. You can see why some (read everyone with a grain of brain) sees it as a bit of a diparture from the spirit of Dragonlance:smallfurious: :smallfurious: :smallfurious: :smallfurious:

SurlySeraph
2008-01-19, 07:41 PM
I'm angry about the changes they're making to FR, very much so. It doesn't seem to occur to them that people like the Forgotten Realms because they're the Forgotten Realms - a place with a ludicrous power scale, huge amounts of history to draw upon, tons of thoroughly described locations, and more.

Hell, it's practically several campaign settings compressed into one: the Sword Coast, the Heartlands, the Underdark, the Unapproachable East, Maztica, and Kara-Tur. If a DM wants a setting that he can make up all the details he wants for, he can choose another or homebrew something. Now FR seems like it's a hyper-generic Anyworld, with Drizzt and Elminster in it.

The changes to the pantheon very much bother me. It makes sense to demote a lot of the gods to demi-gods. But having a ludicrously wide choice of gods means you can choose a deity who believes exactly what your character believes. I don't see why they're killing Mystra, but I have this feeling it's going to be exactly like the last two times she died - she's going to be right back, and it just happens to remind people that control over magic is Important Business.

Recent DnD novels have been systematically wiping out the entire Drow pantheon; I have this feeling that in 4E, there's going to be a huge nation of Elistraee-worshipping surface Drow vs. an equally large nation of Lolth-worshipping Underdark Drow. They killed off both Duergar deities, which pisses me off because I like Duergar and think they should be more important.

And then there's that thing with Tyr killing Helm. I realize that we don't know much about the characters of the deities, but that's still character derailment. Helm is one of the most iconic FR deities, and then the main god of paladins flips out and kill him. It makes no damn sense.

BlackStaticWolf
2008-01-19, 07:56 PM
I don't see why they're killing Mystra, but I have this feeling it's going to be exactly like the last two times she died - she's going to be right back, and it just happens to remind people that control over magic is Important Business.

At least the first time she died she had the decency to drop a letter from her name and pretend to be a different god.

Triaxx
2008-01-19, 08:00 PM
I've only ever adventured in FR when replaying the Baldur's Gate games. Why? Because we use it as a dump point. It's what our characters aspire to. When they finish a campaign, FR is where they 'retire' to.

So if they want to cataclysm the Realms, it's not really a big deal here. It just means whatever characters we're using at the time get elevated instantly to god-among-mortals status. (We typically finish around level 40 or so.)

Talya
2008-01-19, 08:03 PM
I don't see why they're killing Mystra, but I have this feeling it's going to be exactly like the last two times she died - she's going to be right back, and it just happens to remind people that control over magic is Important Business.

That's only okay if the revival of Mystra also brings back the hundreds of wizards, sorcerors, and bards that the collapse of the weave kills...including Alustriel, Qilue, Laerel, The Simbul, Dove Falconhand, Khelben Arunsun, Halastar, Gromph Baenre, and the Harpell clan, and many others.


At least the first time she died she had the decency to drop a letter from her name and pretend to be a different god.

Midnight is Mystra. She planned it that way. Mystra is the Weave, and she picked her replacement in advance. Midnight more merged with Mystra and formed her new avatar, than replaced her.

Kyeudo
2008-01-19, 08:12 PM
Forgotton Realms has needed a reboot for years. There is too much canon material to actualy play there without violating someones perceptions of how Forgotton Realms should play.

There are so many epic characters, developed nations, gods, goddesses, important NPCs, and important institutions that you can't throw a rock with out hitting one or three.

I'm jjust surprised they didn't get rid of Eliminster. He is one of the biggest offenders in all the Forgotton Realms.

Talya
2008-01-19, 08:16 PM
Forgotton Realms has needed a reboot for years. There is too much canon material to actualy play there without violating someones perceptions of how Forgotton Realms should play.

There are so many epic characters, developed nations, gods, goddesses, important NPCs, and important institutions that you can't throw a rock with out hitting one or three.



That's the point...that's what some people WANT...why mess up the only setting that has that? If they want an under-developed setting without any soul, they could just play eberron, let's not turn FR into Eberron as well.

You know, I'd be okay with them doing this, if they intentionally "post dated" it...set it thousands of years after the events currently unfolding in FR novels and books....

A friend of mine believes that this is WotC intentionally killing the FR setting. They did this with Dragonlance (5th age mentioned above) so they could stop paying Weiss and Hickman. Now they want to get rid of Greenwood.

RTGoodman
2008-01-19, 08:17 PM
And then there's that thing with Tyr killing Helm. I realize that we don't know much about the characters of the deities, but that's still character derailment. Helm is one of the most iconic FR deities, and then the main god of paladins flips out and kill him. It makes no damn sense.

I don't have Grand History of the Realms, but I flipped through it at the bookstore once to see about this "Faerun Cataclysm" or whatever they're calling it.

As far as Helm and Tyr, they end up fighting a duel over the honor of some female god in whom they're both romantically interested (Sune or Selune or something, I think), if I remember correctly. I think Cyric somehow convinces one of them that the other insulted her, and their Lawful nature prevents them from stopping even if they figure out the ruse. Tyr just ends up coming out on top. My initial thought, besides shock and anger (since Helm's my favorite FR god), is that it's some sort of a symbolic way to end 3E in the Realms - after all, during the Time of Troubles, it was only Helm that didn't get reduced to mortalhood, right? Now, there's a new apocalypse, and he symbolically dies with the edition.

Also, as an aside, prepare to not do anything in Waterdeep once this all occurs. If I remember correctly, the Grand History talks about the nearly the entire city being wiped out by some plague or somesuch.

thorgrim29
2008-01-19, 08:24 PM
WHAT!!!!! They actually killed my favourite support chars, the sisters and the harpells, damn them to hell.

Talya
2008-01-19, 08:35 PM
WHAT!!!!! They actually killed my favourite support chars, the sisters and the harpells, damn them to hell.

Most of them. Probably. I'm using deduction here. From what i understand, almost all spellcasters over level 14 in the setting die.

Notable exceptions mentioned are Elminster and Storm Silverhand (there's one of your sisters.) Alustriel and Qilue better survive, they are the only two I use regularly.

bugsysservant
2008-01-19, 08:35 PM
As far as Helm and Tyr, they end up fighting a duel over the honor of some female god in whom they're both romantically interested (Sune or Selune or something, I think), if I remember correctly. I think Cyric somehow convinces one of them that the other insulted her, and their Lawful nature prevents them from stopping even if they figure out the ruse. Tyr just ends up coming out on top.

Great, they're starting off not only with killing my favorite published campaign setting, they're tacking on a lawful stupid act to seal the deal. And I had liked most of 4ed stuff till now too...

shadowdemon_lord
2008-01-19, 08:38 PM
I don't even play in the forgotten realms anymore and this still pisses me off. The time of troubles was a bit of a retcon, but it was a well done retcon that made only minor changes. It didn't jump ten years into the future, rewrite every nation that currently exists, and even rewrite which races exist, and then rewrite the races they're keeping (Elves dieing at 150-200 years old anyone?).

But I understand why they are doing it. They wanted to bring LG to a close, and needed a big name brand to sell their next living campaign (and consequently 4th ed). They needed to make sure they're next Living Campaign was practically guaranteed to be on par with Living Greyhawk is now, because otherwise Living Arcanis would become the big name Living Campaign and take a large share of the market (problem? Living Arcanis isn't converting to 4th ed immediately, if ever). So as their best well known campaign next to Greyhawk, they say lets do our next living campaign in the realms.

Of course, now they've got all new authors and these guys don't want to write continuations of the old realms stories, they want new ones. They also want to put Tieflings, Dragon Born, etc into the new campaign so new players don't have to buy a forgotten realms sourcebook to figure out how to build a character. I predict that the Forgotten Realms Living Campaign will be a huge success, that the number of people who know and love the realms and who use the new retconned to hell and back setting will be low, but that new players who are drawn in by 4th ED's similarities to computer games and the appeal of playing a Dragonborn will mostly make up for this lack of sales.

Talya
2008-01-19, 08:39 PM
Great, they're starting off not only with killing my favorite published campaign setting, they're tacking on a lawful stupid act to seal the deal. And I had liked most of 4ed stuff till now too...


Ha! I've been saying all along...the blatant disregard for "fluff" they've been showing with the construction of 4e portends very, very bad things.


When [they] came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

"I don't care that they're changing succubi and erinyes and elves and gnomes and tieflings and dwarves and blah blah blah..."

Heh. Leave fluff alone. All of it. Match the new rules to existing fluff, or forget about new rules.

Matthew
2008-01-19, 08:58 PM
I don't even play in the forgotten realms anymore and this still pisses me off.

A perfect summing up, I would say.

I suspect it's all about branding and money. The Forgotten Realms is almost as strong a brand as Dungeons & Dragons, so rather than lose the power of that brand, they choose to harness it for their new design and money making machine. It only makes good business sense, since they don't really care what older gamers think or want, as their market is primarily 11-16 year olds who they expect to keep hold of for 5-10 years [i.e. one edition cycle].

Greenwood doesn't seem to be worrying too hard about it. He still plays AD&D 2e by all accounts and his Forgotten Realms is somewhat different to the published campaign world.

bugsysservant
2008-01-19, 09:35 PM
"I don't care that they're changing succubi and erinyes and elves and gnomes and tieflings and dwarves and blah blah blah..."

That strikes me as a bit tasteless. I don't agree with what WoTC is doing, but I wouldn't compare it to the Holocaust. (Does Godwin's Law apply if you don't actually refer to the individual?)

VanBuren
2008-01-19, 09:37 PM
Ha! I've been saying all along...the blatant disregard for "fluff" they've been showing with the construction of 4e portends very, very bad things.



"I don't care that they're changing succubi and erinyes and elves and gnomes and tieflings and dwarves and blah blah blah..."

Heh. Leave fluff alone. All of it. Match the new rules to existing fluff, or forget about new rules.

Don't you think the comparison is a bit overdramatic? I mean, the Holocaust and the butchering of pre-4th edition lore can't even be compared.

kamikasei
2008-01-19, 09:41 PM
That strikes me as a bit tasteless. I don't agree with what WoTC is doing, but I wouldn't compare it to the Holocaust. (Does Godwin's Law apply if you don't actually refer to the individual?)

No, it doesn't. And I think this is rather an overreaction to Talya's post. That "When they came for the X" quote is widely used without any particular reference to the Holocaust to express simply, "stand up for the rights of others, because they are the same rights that protect you". In this case, "be wary of gratuitous changes to things you don't care about, because things you do care about are just as likely to be gratuitously changed".

I don't imagine there was any intent on her part to suggest a similarity to the Holocaust or anything related to it.

Talya
2008-01-19, 09:51 PM
No, it doesn't. And I think this is rather an overreaction to Talya's post. That "When they came for the X" quote is widely used without any particular reference to the Holocaust to express simply, "stand up for the rights of others, because they are the same rights that protect you". In this case, "be wary of gratuitous changes to things you don't care about, because things you do care about are just as likely to be gratuitously changed".

I don't imagine there was any intent on her part to suggest a similarity to the Holocaust or anything related to it.


Thank you for getting it.

EvilElitest
2008-01-19, 09:59 PM
I'm also not really a big fan of it (they killed Helm! Why!), but I think it's sort of necessary. Isn't the Realms going to be the setting for the next RPGA "Living" campaign? If so, it makes more sense for some of the stuff to be gone (especially the uber-NPCs).

sadly this kills all the appeal of the FR, i like it the way it is. Can't they just tweak the crunch and leave the world alone? Or make a new champain setting or use Ebberon
from
EE

AslanCross
2008-01-19, 10:01 PM
I don't have Grand History of the Realms, but I flipped through it at the bookstore once to see about this "Faerun Cataclysm" or whatever they're calling it.

As far as Helm and Tyr, they end up fighting a duel over the honor of some female god in whom they're both romantically interested (Sune or Selune or something, I think), if I remember correctly. I think Cyric somehow convinces one of them that the other insulted her, and their Lawful nature prevents them from stopping even if they figure out the ruse. Tyr just ends up coming out on top. My initial thought, besides shock and anger (since Helm's my favorite FR god), is that it's some sort of a symbolic way to end 3E in the Realms - after all, during the Time of Troubles, it was only Helm that didn't get reduced to mortalhood, right? Now, there's a new apocalypse, and he symbolically dies with the edition.

This is how it happens.
1. Siamorphe, whom Tyr was sponsoring, has a quarrel with Tyr over the Tethyr vs Calimshan fight.
2. Siamorphe leaves the House of the Triad and joins Sune in Brightwater.
3. In order to rebalance the celestial planes, Sune suggests that Tyr marry Tymora.
4. Helm acts as the go-between and somehow, Tyr thinks that Tymora fell in love with Helm somewhere along the line.
5. Due to their lawful nature, they end up fighting to the death before they come to their senses.
6. Tymora is torn up but accompanies Tyr back to the House of the Triad, which Ilmater leaves and goes over to Brightwater instead.

Just one thought: How can Tyr think Tymora fell in love with a guy who never takes off his armor? :smallconfused:

kamikasei
2008-01-19, 10:09 PM
5. Due to their lawful nature, they end up fighting to the death before they come to their senses.

*headdesk*

Seriously, what the hell is the thinking here?

"My girlfriend has fallen for you!"

"...No she hasn't. And if she has, I'm not interested."

"We must kung fu fight... for justice!"

"Well, having been double-dog dared, I cannot back down!"

Talya
2008-01-19, 10:15 PM
*headdesk*

Seriously, what the hell is the thinking here?

"My girlfriend has fallen for you!"

"...No she hasn't. And if she has, I'm not interested."

"We must kung fu fight... for justice!"

"Well, having been double-dog dared, I cannot back down!"

If you've read all five books of the Avatar series, this actually makes sense. The Gods are ... in mortal terms...absolutely insane. Midnight has a hard time dealing with it, thinking like a human as she does. Oghma understands it (though he's just as insane as the rest of them), and explains it to her. They don't have free will, they cannot adapt, they are not flexible. They have this rigid behavioral rules, and cannot perceive anything outside their worldview. They are just not capable of being any other way. Helm and the previous Mystra were lovers, yet he struck her down while she attempted to bring information to Ao...information that would have solved the very mystery he cast them out of the upper planes for...and he struck her down because he had no choice. This is really almost...justice.

Felius
2008-01-19, 10:15 PM
*headdesk*

Seriously, what the hell is the thinking here?

"My girlfriend has fallen for you!"

"...No she hasn't. And if she has, I'm not interested."

"We must kung fu fight... for justice!"

"Well, having been double-dog dared, I cannot back down!"

If they actually WERE personifications of the essence of the element "order" it might be barely acceptable. But they AREN'T! This hurt and stings!!!!!

EvilElitest
2008-01-19, 10:21 PM
Don't you think the comparison is a bit overdramatic? I mean, the Holocaust and the butchering of pre-4th edition lore can't even be compared.

Not really. Crunch is good and all, but Fluff is the real attraction of the game, an existing, breathing world. Their are rules and the idea of the game is that we follow them. Demons and devils are different, gnomes are gnomes, Tieflings are cross breeds not a race, elves live for a long time and dwarves dwell underground
Now what bothers me is that there changing these rules with such a heavy hand, instead of subtly introducing dragonborn, making the 'new' tieflings a new race or something. I mean the time of troubles was cool fluff wise and didn't destory the spirt of the realms and many of the enjoyable familer things
Also i think her comparasion was that people are just going "It isn't what i enjoy, not my problem" except it is. If WOTC can change fluff/crunch at will with a recon/ass pull/ heavy handed manner, over the regard of the old fans then what can't they change?
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kpenguin
2008-01-19, 10:21 PM
Okay, frankly I couldn't care less about FR. I used to enjoy the books, but I don't play there.

However, I do enjoy Eberron and with such drastic changes to such an old and well-developed campaign setting does not bode well for a relatively young one. I'm afraid that I'll go online someday and find out House Sivis has been wiped out and replaced with some tiefling dragonmarked house or that Sarlona has been blown up because psionics work differently in 4E.

Cheese it, I'm not converting if I can help it.

Tobrian
2008-01-19, 10:26 PM
But I understand why they are doing it. They wanted to bring LG to a close, and needed a big name brand to sell their next living campaign (and consequently 4th ed). They needed to make sure they're next Living Campaign was practically guaranteed to be on par with Living Greyhawk is now, because otherwise Living Arcanis would become the big name Living Campaign and take a large share of the market (problem? Living Arcanis isn't converting to 4th ed immediately, if ever). So as their best well known campaign next to Greyhawk, they say lets do our next living campaign in the realms.

Hm interesting. Being German I didn't know the above, only the rumours that LG was coming to an end in some way (I had assumed the WotC would stop supporting it and RPGA would, I dunno, continue it unofficially using 3.5 rules). But this sounds very sad. I play with a few American LG players/GMs via internet, I'll ask them for details.


Of course, now they've got all new authors and these guys don't want to write continuations of the old realms stories, they want new ones. They also want to put Tieflings, Dragon Born, etc into the new campaign so new players don't have to buy a forgotten realms sourcebook to figure out how to build a character. I predict that the Forgotten Realms Living Campaign will be a huge success, that the number of people who know and love the realms and who use the new retconned to hell and back setting will be low, but that new players who are drawn in by 4th ED's similarities to computer games and the appeal of playing a Dragonborn will mostly make up for this lack of sales.

I say it again, if they want to draw newbie players with 4E, who have never before played D&D, why not make a NEW setting?? That way the authors could have every freedom they want. What's the point in using an "established" setting for mock continuity and brand name and then... throw everything out and change it so much that older fans don't even recognize it anymore?

As for the MMORPG crowd, want to know what the new tiefling design reminds me of? WoW Dranei. :smallyuk: And I don't even play WoW. I remember that during the past year or more I kept wondering why so many DRAGON magazine covers and DUNGEON modules had artwork that featured these strange horned tailed humanoids (usually well-endowed women), not as opponents but as PCs. I wondered if they were half-demons, or half-satyrs. Now I know they're supposed to be the 4E tiefling.

All I know is: Elves and drow wll be "fey" type in 4E? Boy, if you thought the immature "All elves are fairies/All elves are gay" jokes by gamers were bad before, just wait... *groan*

I guess I'll have another look at Monte Cook's Arcana Unearthed version of D&D and his Ptolus setting.

I readily admit that 3.5 has problems. Too much crunch, too much temptation to optimize a build instead of roleplaying the character. Too many magic items (although weird magic items can be fun). But I don't think those things will change with 4E.

I'll probably steal some crunch and ideas from 4E. But if I ever run 4E, I'll create my own world, period. Right now, though, I'm playing in World of Greyhawk, and my group contains two gnomes...


Forgotton Realms has needed a reboot for years. There is too much canon material to actualy play there without violating someones perceptions of how Forgotton Realms should play.

There are so many epic characters, developed nations, gods, goddesses, important NPCs, and important institutions that you can't throw a rock with out hitting one or three.

I'm jjust surprised they didn't get rid of Eliminster. He is one of the biggest offenders in all the Forgotton Realms.

"how Forgotton Realms should play"? First of all, if you're the GM, guess what, you can always pick what you like and ignore the rest. If people want an "empty" world, without all the background, they can create their own. Published settings are a boon for those gamemasters who dont have the time or inclination to draw their own maps, invent nations and stat out dozens, nay hundreds of NPCs.

Second, how do you define "reboot". It is entirely possible to move the Realm's metaplot forward without basically reducing the worlds to shreds. Get rid of a few of the more powerful NPCs... no problem. Kill them off, see if I care. But what is happening here sounds like the transition from the old to the new World of Darkness: "We've written ourselves into a corner and have grown bored with this world, let's start over by killing everyone off." But the point is, this isn't a novel. This is a roleplaying game, and it belongs as much to the players as it belongs to the authors. IF said authors have "overcrowded" the world with NPCs (example: Silverymoon), it's their fault.

Fantasy authors tend to fall from one extreme into the other: Either their worlds suffer from cultural stasis, or they get hit with world-spanning wars, demon invasions, undead plagues or meteorite impacts every 10 years. For cheap drama. Sometimes they even get hit with catastrophies and still nothing changes, except for a few names. There's never a cultural or technological development. And this "reboot" smells exactly like that... faces will change, but afterwards it's still your stereotype D&D world.

Some other poster already said it: If you remove everything that makes the Realms the Realms, to make them more accessible, what is left is your standard fantasy world. How would people feel if WotC scrapped everything that makes Eberron the Adventure Pulp world it is, the dragon marks, the lightning rails, the jungle ruins?

Lots of non-D&D RPGs like Ars Magica, Call of Cthulhu, Fading Suns, Castle Falkenstein, TORG but also D&D Ravenloft draw fans precisely because they have intricate background settings. Sure, it takes longer to "get into" the setting, but it's worth it. With D&D I get the feeling that WotC thinks that players primarily want to wander from one dungeon crawl to the next. It's easy to write dungeon modules. THere must be a reason why so many forum threads I see on Wizards.com and here on the boards are about crunching numbers and optimizing builds... Boring. :smallfrown:

I agree with you in regard to Elminster, though. Damn Marty-Stu.

Mark Hall
2008-01-19, 10:31 PM
You know how in Muttz, the comic strip, that one cat will cheerly play for hours, chanting "Little pink sock, little pink sock"?

I'm about to start doing the same, but instead saying "Old gray box, old gray box."

EvilElitest
2008-01-19, 10:32 PM
That was brillent Tobrian
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Talya
2008-01-19, 10:34 PM
I agree with you in regard to Elminster, though. Damn Marty-Stu.

only due to extremely high level. He's so non-optimally multiclassed...a pure wizard/archmage of his character and level adjustment would kick his ass very badly.

Mkhaiwati
2008-01-19, 10:35 PM
several reasons as to "why"

1. WotC believes re-booting will bring in new players and older players will forgive them.

2. The need to bring in elements from other settings (Mournlands from Eberron, Shadow Weave from Birthright .. ooops, already in with 3e, and I think Shadowfell and Feywild also from Birthright)

3. An attempt to please the group that will dislike FR no matter what changes they make (we hate the NPC's, we hate all the Gods, we hate... whatever else we can find in this setting)

4. To make the setting fit the new rules (really scary for Eberron fans). Now, we have reason why magic now works the way it does, why there are Dragonborn, and all the other changes in rules can now be implemented in FR. When 5e comes around, they will probably change Eberron to match the ruleset then.

those are the main reasons I can gather. 1,3, and 4 are paraphrasing from what WotC actually says. (Fit the new rules and explain why magic works the way it does, people complain about the NPCs and gods, we want younger players, etc)

VanBuren
2008-01-19, 10:36 PM
Not really. Crunch is good and all, but Fluff is the real attraction of the game, an existing, breathing world. Their are rules and the idea of the game is that we follow them. Demons and devils are different, gnomes are gnomes, Tieflings are cross breeds not a race, elves live for a long time and dwarves dwell underground
Now what bothers me is that there changing these rules with such a heavy hand, instead of subtly introducing dragonborn, making the 'new' tieflings a new race or something. I mean the time of troubles was cool fluff wise and didn't destory the spirt of the realms and many of the enjoyable familer things
Also i think her comparasion was that people are just going "It isn't what i enjoy, not my problem" except it is. If WOTC can change fluff/crunch at will with a recon/ass pull/ heavy handed manner, over the regard of the old fans then what can't they change?
from
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I'll tell you what they can't change. They can't change how people decide to play it. There's a huge difference in DnD. WotC has the right to do whatever they want to their product. If they decide that Dwarves are now a subrace of Elves, and have a Favored Class of Monk, then that's going to be what the rules say and how the system works.

Is that going to stop the players from playing it as a distinct race with whatever obscure multiclassing rules the DM decides? No.

Talya
2008-01-19, 10:44 PM
several reasons as to "why"

older players will forgive them.

No, we won't.

The only money WotC has ever gotten from me has been from novels. I've read FR-based stories like mad, though I've never paid a dime for a splatbook or campaign setting or adventure. (Which isn't to say I don't have/have access to them...all of them.)

Now I won't even give them money for their novels.

Tobrian
2008-01-19, 11:14 PM
Re: Elminster

only due to extremely high level. He's so non-optimally multiclassed...a pure wizard/archmage of his character and level adjustment would kick his ass very badly.

Being a Mary Sue/Marty Stu is not (solely) about power. (Oh come on, Elminster is for all purposes immortal and all-powerful, stats be damned.) It's about being annoyingly "perfect", chosen of Mystra, wielder of spellfire, charming with the ladies, accomplished swordsman etc. It's about being the author's idealized self-insert. It's about being better at everything than other characters, beating them up and taking their candy (metaphorically). It's about us the readers being constantly told how great and cool you are (like Drizzt), so that even your "weaknesses" become disguised advantages.

EvilElitest
2008-01-19, 11:21 PM
Re: Elminster


Being a Mary Sue/Marty Stu is not (solely) about power. (Oh come on, Elminster is for all purposes immortal and all-powerful, stats be damned.) It's about being annoyingly "perfect", chosen of Mystra, wielder of spellfire, charming with the ladies, accomplished swordsman etc. It's about being the author's idealized self-insert. It's about being better at everything than other characters, beating them up and taking their candy (metaphorically). It's about us the readers being constantly told how great and cool you are (like Drizzt), so that even your "weaknesses" become disguised advantages.

Green wood my be be a good game writer, but he is an awful story writer. In Drizzt's defense, he is a generally better rounded character and doesn't go sleeping with gods all the time. I can see Drizzt working and his very existance in a world doesn't break it. I mean, story wise, he doesn't really do that much (no really, he doesn't) while Elmister basiclly alters realist to his will
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Talya
2008-01-19, 11:23 PM
Drizzt is no mary-sue at all...he's a very good character. The main irritation with Drizzt is not his fault, or the fault of the author. It's the fault of his uncreative copycat fans.

Elminster is obviously Greenwood inserting himself into the game...and between the legs of as many deific females as possible.

EvilElitest
2008-01-19, 11:33 PM
Drizzt is no mary-sue at all...he's a very good character. The main irritation with Drizzt is not his fault, or the fault of the author. It's the fault of his uncreative copycat fans.

Hey, my male drow duel scimitar wielding good ranger named Drizzite D'Obin is a totally orginial character. Same for my night elf hunter on WoW named Dizzitit:smallwink:



Elminster is obviously Greenwood inserting himself into the game...and between the legs of as many deific females as possible.
Pfff, come on, like Elminster spends most of his novels effortless defeating his foes while all of his life's wishes are grated, with a mass amount of seemly random sex thrown in

Wait...
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horseboy
2008-01-19, 11:45 PM
You know, it's shenanigans like this that made Living Room Games go under.

Mkhaiwati
2008-01-19, 11:58 PM
No, we won't.

The only money WotC has ever gotten from me has been from novels. I've read FR-based stories like mad, though I've never paid a dime for a splatbook or campaign setting or adventure. (Which isn't to say I don't have/have access to them...all of them.)

Now I won't even give them money for their novels.

aaahhhh... notice I said "Wotc believes that" first. :smallwink:

except for enworld, most reactions have been unfavorable. There are a few that are enjoying the changes or are going along for the ride, but there still seems quite a bit of anger on the boards I frequent.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 12:03 AM
aaahhhh... notice I said "Wotc believes that" first. :smallwink:

except for enworld, most reactions have been unfavorable. There are a few that are enjoying the changes or are going along for the ride, but there still seems quite a bit of anger on the boards I frequent.

Well, knowing WOTC they certainly would change that if they thought it would help their sales (if nothing else) but bear in mind people, you can still change things. Write to WOTC, or try to show them how many people are angry by making a petition. They aren't supid, they can catch on to fan anger, because even if they make more money off new fans than the old, they will still lose any credibilty as a buisness
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BlackStaticWolf
2008-01-20, 12:05 AM
Midnight is Mystra. She planned it that way. Mystra is the Weave, and she picked her replacement in advance. Midnight more merged with Mystra and formed her new avatar, than replaced her.

I know. I was referring to the whole thing where Mystryl got wtfpwn'd by Karsus and was promptly replaced by Mystra (one letter shorter) who actually claimed to be a different god... despite keeping the same sign and personality.

Pronounceable
2008-01-20, 12:11 AM
I'm among the folks who hate FR's guts, and still this pisses me off. It's a sloppy job done purely for $$$. I can hear the $s popping in WotC (or maybe Hasbro) management's eyes from here, half a globe away.

Unless confronted by the majority of their current fans' object desire to see fluff unbuthchered, they WILL do this. And if they get away with it, they'll be back for more. Come to think of it, that was before (Planescape, Ravenloft, Time of Troubles, etc). They ARE back for more. The only thing that can stop WotC is the risk of losing the majority of their current fanbase to create a new one, because they will sink if 4E bombs after such an event and they are left with no customers.

Still, such a thing's chance of occuring is nearly nil proven by history.



I'll tell you what they can't change. They can't change how people decide to play it.

QFT.


After that anticapitalist blurb, I should say I'm actually hopeful. FR will surely shrivel and die, just like Dragonlance. Maybe then, the REALLY good stuff [read: Planescape, Ravenloft and/or Dark Sun] will be remembered and reestablished with its spirit intact.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 12:22 AM
After that anticapitalist blurb, I should say I'm actually hopeful. FR will surely shrivel and die, just like Dragonlance. Maybe then, the REALLY good stuff [read: Planescape, Ravenloft and/or Dark Sun] will be remembered and reestablished with its spirit intact.

I like FR, Ravenloft, Dragon lance, planescape and Dark Sun quite well, i think they are all very well devolped settings. I prefer FR and i sickens me to see this game butchered. But i would like to point out, even if they do come back, then what? Will WOTC butcher it in the same way they did Dragonlance and FR? Would you like that? Wouldn't that be worst?
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Hawriel
2008-01-20, 12:45 AM
I saw the 4th advertisment books at the comic store the other day and they further ingraned my displesure on the new edition. To me it looked like they where craming every race from UA and any other splatbook and shoe horning them into FR making it canon. So for the past what 25 years we never really noticed that there where half dragons and tieflings anime fanboy cat girls or what ever els sitting at the bars, taverns, temples, and full villages of said creatures. But I guess a wizard did it just like Buffy out of no whare had a 15 year old sister that every one of corse remembered her having. :smallconfused:

So Tyr kills Helm? WTF like that would ever happen. I guess Galahad would kill Persival too. Is Ilmater going to mary Lovetar now? AHHH mmm I said that in sarcasm but strangely it might work :smalleek:

From what I can gather reading posts here and looking at what WOTC puts out about 4th ed I think I will hate it as much as oh shadowrun 4th ed and Mechwarrior dark age. Talk about bad retconning for new rules thoughs two settings are good examples. I mention these worlds for another reason. The retcon is just fluff crap spewed out by WOTC. If the rules are solid and you like them then you will use them. Even if you hate the setting they create. The fluff can be ignored at will. Some peaple still play 2nd ed D&D, "Classic" Battletech, 2nd or 3rd ed shadowrun, Star Wars D6 and totaly egnored what came after. Hell in my shadowrun world Knight Airent doesnt own detroit OCP does. :smallamused: In short Highlander 2 does not have to acknowleged to ever have existed. Then again 4ed might be cool and their writing interesting :smallwink:.

Holocaust?? How the hell did you get that comparison from Talya?

Talya thank you for showing me what my Rogue/fighter's wife looked like on there wedding night :smallwink: :smallbiggrin:

illathid
2008-01-20, 01:04 AM
I'll see if I can find the quote but I believe the actual problem they had with the Realms was that they couldn't attract many new writers/designers. Several WotC employee's have said that while they would like to write for FR, there is just so much canon material, there's no way for them to make a quality product.

I'm mean look at the Grand History of the Realms. Here is a 160 page source book that is nothing but setting history. You know the stuff that normally only takes something from 2 to 12 pages in a regular setting book. 160 pages! Thats ridiculous! And people complain when there's consistency errors in the splatbooks too.

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with the exact changes that were made, but I can definitely understand them. And who knows, maybe there are a whole bunch of really talented writers/designers out there who have encyclopedic knowledge of the realms, but somehow I doubt it.

P.s. The crunch and fluff really aren't all that hard to change. The best purchase I ever made for a 3.5e Campaign was buying a bunch of old Planescape books as PDFs. So if you like the the 4e crunch, but don't like the fluff, there's really nothing stopping you from just using your old books. In fact, they'll probably be more useful to you.

Pronounceable
2008-01-20, 01:34 AM
I like FR, Ravenloft, Dragon lance, planescape and Dark Sun quite well, i think they are all very well devolped settings. I prefer FR and i sickens me to see this game butchered. But i would like to point out, even if they do come back, then what? Will WOTC butcher it in the same way they did Dragonlance and FR? Would you like that? Wouldn't that be worst?


They'll realize the error that cost them their most iconic setting, and won't repeat the same mistake. At least it's the hope part, for I'm sure FR will die if this goes on.



Is Ilmater going to marry Loviatar now? This is awesome on so many levels...

Darkantra
2008-01-20, 01:34 AM
A quick question, have they already adapted a list of all of the deities and countries that get wiped out in this new world? It's just that I really, really don't want Hoar to go, he's become one of my favorite deities in the last little while. Who needs justice when you have a god of poetic justice whose voices his pleasure and displeasure with thunder?

RTGoodman
2008-01-20, 01:37 AM
I saw the 4th advertisment books at the comic store the other day and they further ingraned my displesure on the new edition. To me it looked like they where craming every race from UA and any other splatbook and shoe horning them into FR making it canon. So for the past what 25 years we never really noticed that there where half dragons and tieflings anime fanboy cat girls or what ever els sitting at the bars, taverns, temples, and full villages of said creatures. But I guess a wizard did it just like Buffy out of no whare had a 15 year old sister that every one of corse remembered her having. :smallconfused:

I don't know for sure (i.e., I haven't heard anything about it), but I can't imagine they're going to include all the new races in Forgotten Realms. Sure it's going to be in the "Points of Light" setting, but there are always differences between the settings. I mean, FR started with a bajillion different variants on humans and elves and dwarves, while Dragonlance had a lot of races that were way different from the core setting. Eberron even did this - Warforged, Shifters, and Changelings were unique to it, and the flavor of all the other races changed - non-Lolth-following drow, dinosaur-riding halflings, a former hobgoblin empire, etc.

I can imagine an situation where the 4E FR Campaign Setting would have a few pages listing which races aren't common to the Realms and also giving stats for those that are FR-specific (or, FR-specific until people co-opt them into other settings). Eberron'll probably do the same, though we won't find out for a while (since it's not due to be updated until August 2009, if I remember correctly).


A quick question, have they already adapted a list of all of the deities and countries that get wiped out in this new world?

The Grand History of the Realms has quite a bit of information about it, but I doubt there'll be a whole list until the 4E setting book comes out (which, if I remember correct, is this August).

Xuincherguixe
2008-01-20, 02:02 AM
I haven't played Forgotten Realms at all, so I don't really have any emotional attachment to the setting.

But annoys me when this kind of thing happens. It sounds like 4th edition is going to be fairly different. Why not have a different default setting? If it's fairly major, they could have a book about what sort of adaptations are needed for that specific campaign.

Oh, silly me. I suggested a book. WotC isn't interested in anything they can't get at least 20 books out of.

And, there's one explanation of why I'm not that into D&D.


But, I can sympathize with people that are have emotional investment. I'm still pissed off at that XBox 360 "Shadowrun". (I really hold my grudges ^_^)

Moral Wiz
2008-01-20, 02:05 AM
Oh.

What happened to Hallrua? does anyone know? I liked that place. Sure, it was a magocracy, but it was interesting.

mabriss lethe
2008-01-20, 05:46 AM
My guess.

The boat will be rocked. Fans will get pissed. The new system will come out anyway. Some people will love it, some will hate it. People who swore they'd never buy a 4e book will run across one at Barnes and Noble or somewhere, flip through it and get inspired to play. eventually the hubbub will die down. even from the hardcore FR fans, and people will just sit down and play the game.

AslanCross
2008-01-20, 06:02 AM
Is Ilmater going to mary Lovetar now?

...well, Ilmater likes pain, which Loviatar likes inflicting...

:smalleek:

Rachel Lorelei
2008-01-20, 06:13 AM
...well, Ilmater likes pain, which Loviatar likes inflicting...

:smalleek:

The most successful relationship I know started on exactly that basis.

As for the changes to the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, I can't get too worked up. This is a more major change, but the setting has changed before and it will change again. The history the Realms had will remain--there's just more of it now. Great cataclysms like this are built into the Realms' history, as see Karsus' Ascenscion and the death of the original Mystryl.

mostlyharmful
2008-01-20, 07:40 AM
After reading the article on the WotC site the only thing that really stood out as wtf?? was the dragonborn. They could have just writen in a schpiel on tiamat/bahamut fighting/bleeding/breeding and shoved them in but instead it's an accidental alien invasion from a completely new world that no-ones heard of.:smallyuk:

Other than that it just seems to be about cutting out the one thing I really liked about the realms which was that it had layers. There were people around that had done adventuring before, there were old gods/monsters left around from previous empires/editions/???. NPCs were alowed to have levels and remember things and it made the PCs change over the course of their careers seem like an ok thing, like this was what was suppossed to happen. Rather than them passing 6th level and suddenly they can take on whole armies at once yet there are still monsters that can challenge them waiting in dungeons round the courner.:smallconfused: I really liked that you couldn't assume you were the biggest Cannasta in town, that you had to remember there were others out there more powerful than you and your actions had consequences. In Eberron the whole lack of high level NPCs just grates on me, and the "they all died in the war" expaination makes no sense but at least it gets addressed which is more than just about any other setting.

4E FR seems like its going to be a watered down synopsis version, with all the gods fitting on a neat A4 page. All the gods. For all the races on and below an entire continent. :smallconfused: and no NPC is allowed to not suffer ADD. :smallconfused:


Oh, and the "Lawful behaviour is exemplafied by being a freakin' moronic psychopath with no sense motive". Yeah. Just plain dumb. and I've flicked through those books and read the long version of the expanation and it's still bang your head on the table to scratch an itch stupid.

lord_khaine
2008-01-20, 09:07 AM
i really dislike these changes as well, what the heck is the idea with killing allmost all of the major npc if you miss elminster?

and the death of helm is just to stupid..

DeathQuaker
2008-01-20, 10:00 AM
This kinda reminds me of when White Wolf was taking the old WOD from 2nd ed to 3rd. They decided they were dropping the Wraith line, but rather than say, do something sensible like just let the books go out of print, they had to reflect this in the "fluff" so they blew up the entire setting -- which had previously existed in the same universe as their other four games.

First of all, that was a huge f-you to anyone who actually used the setting. Which may have been just me, but it was still annoying.

Secondly, they couldn't have the setting blowing up affect just that little corner of their universe. It had to affect the spirit realms and other worlds as a whole... they used it to make dramatic and frankly annoyingly nerfing changes to how spirit rules worked in other and frankly far more popular settings. It changed both fluff and mechanics. People who did a lot of stuff with the spirit realms, which was a lot of people (like, anyone who played Werewolf), were forced to forget it or forced to houserule a blend of old and new rules (if they wanted to use the 3rd edition rules, which did have better mechanics than 2nd edition). Then people realized how much more work it made for them to houserule a hybrid ruleset and gave up. Dropping sales of the games reflected this (that and new 3rd ed games didn't attract as much attention).

Eventually they just destroyed the whole world, and made a whole new game with similar themes. This brought in new players, but some of their older players were lost for good. Ultimately, they only just broke even in terms of losing and gaining players, as far as I know, and that's only because they new system they introduced was fairly good.

There's a good chance things'll pan out similarly for WotC.... and it may even be worse, as they are frankly in danger of pissing off and losing a heck of a lot more people... the Forgotten Realms are way more popular and loved than something as obscure as Wraith: the Oblivion. Maybe they'll draw in a lot of new attention.... but it could also fly back in their faces.

And yes, count me as one of the people who would much rather play in a new setting than see an old beloved one destroyed beyond recognition. I have some long developed, lots-of-emotion-and-story-built-into beloved characters from that world.... I don't want the game company telling me, "Oh, hai, we killed your character (or your character's god or your character's homeland or your character's friends) for you b/c to balance the power level. You happy with us of course, right?"

(Speaking of beloved gods, does anyone know what they did to Sune? :smallannoyed: )

And yes, if you really want to, you can take old fluff and new crunch if you like the new crunch... but that takes a lot of work that should not be necessary. GMs should be taking their time to build exciting new NPCs, new towns, new dungeons, new stories.... not trying to wrestle with the fluff vs crunch to keep their gameworld working the way they want it to. If I have to sit down with players and say, "Okay, so in this world, tieflings are still this and so they still have this ability and not that one, and your elf thus-and-such is now an eladrin so you need to rewrite your character, and...." Sorry, no. That's putting a burden on players and GMs that is completely and entirely unncessary.

Nebo_
2008-01-20, 10:10 AM
My guess.

The boat will be rocked. Fans will get pissed. The new system will come out anyway. Some people will love it, some will hate it. People who swore they'd never buy a 4e book will run across one at Barnes and Noble or somewhere, flip through it and get inspired to play. eventually the hubbub will die down. even from the hardcore FR fans, and people will just sit down and play the game.

I'm inclined to agree.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 11:31 AM
My guess.

The boat will be rocked. Fans will get pissed. The new system will come out anyway. Some people will love it, some will hate it. People who swore they'd never buy a 4e book will run across one at Barnes and Noble or somewhere, flip through it and get inspired to play. eventually the hubbub will die down. even from the hardcore FR fans, and people will just sit down and play the game.

That is certainly true if no body does anything about it
from
EE

Morty
2008-01-20, 11:49 AM
"Oh, hai, we killed your character (or your character's god or your character's homeland or your character's friends) for you b/c to balance the power level. You happy with us of course, right?"


They'll probably say that all changes was obvious, necessary, and that if you don't like them, you're wrong and stupid.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-20, 11:54 AM
@^ Cutting the realms away from planescape anyone?

(Then again "Evil seeps through" Really made me laugh after that.:smallbiggrin: )

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 12:27 PM
@^ Cutting the realms away from planescape anyone?

(Then again "Evil seeps through" Really made me laugh after that.:smallbiggrin: )

You know, even 3.5 FR had a lot to do with plane scape, it didn't seem that necessary after all
from
EE

Moral Wiz
2008-01-20, 12:33 PM
Meh. We're off topic.

So, can anyone who's read the new realms stuff tell me about the new Tieflings. They are basicly Warlocks as a Race, right? And they're true breading, and have formed a civilisation somewhere, correct? Anything else?

VanBuren
2008-01-20, 12:59 PM
That is certainly true if no body does anything about it
from
EE

Aside from boycotting anything from WotC, what, pray tell, can you do about it?

DeathQuaker
2008-01-20, 01:30 PM
Aside from boycotting anything from WotC, what, pray tell, can you do about it?

There were some suggestions for petitioning WotC. Which is a decent idea, except that I have a feeling if the FR book is scheduled to be distributed next... September, IIRC, they're likely already in final draft stages for the setting, unfortunately. The next several months would be laying out, proofing, finalizing art, printing, and prepping for distribution. They could probably make some changes at this point, but not do a complete rewrite.

And that said, yes, if you don't like it, the best thing to do is to speak with your wallet. Hasbro is a big corporation; like all big corporations, its sole purpose is to make money, not appease a few obsessed fangeeks, no matter how convincing their arguments may be. If Hasbro makes money off this, they'll stay on the present course. If they lose money, then and only then will they realize they hit the wrong mark. That'll still mean we lose out on a good 4th Ed FR... but if they attempt a 5th Ed, maybe they'll get it right then (and if not, it means they've dropped it and fans have an opportunity to pick up the slack).

Talya
2008-01-20, 01:37 PM
Meh. We're off topic.

So, can anyone who's read the new realms stuff tell me about the new Tieflings. They are basicly Warlocks as a Race, right? And they're true breading, and have formed a civilisation somewhere, correct? Anything else?

Okay, no offense intended, but let's start from the top, and work down to your signature.

Warlocks are not a race now, nor will they be in 4e. They are a class. Tieflings in 3.x are a non-core, level adjusted planetouched outsider, a human with a bit of fiendish blood in his ancestry that has come to the fore. In 4e, they're the children of those who have made pacts with fiends, rather than bred with them. (Ooooh, don't want demon-sex, it offends our delicate sensibilities. Now Grom, go out there and slice off some heads.) They are also a core race, that will breed (not "bread." They aren't whole wheat) more tieflings 100% of the time.

Any civilization they may have will depend on the setting.

Lastly, your signature. While "assimar" is highly amusing, it's Aasimar.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 01:47 PM
Aside from boycotting anything from WotC, what, pray tell, can you do about it?

simple,


Every single person who has a problem with FR, write one letter adressed to them, and send one email per account. In each letter/email write what you don't like. Tell all of your friends who don't like the changes to write letters as well. Remember, WOTC knows that for every letter that is written, their are a many more who aren't writing complaining.


(Ooooh, don't want demon-sex, it offends our delicate sensibilities. Now Grom, go out there and slice off some heads.) They are also a core race, that will breed (not "bread." They aren't whole wheat) more tieflings 100% of the time.

the irony is that they are forging the new tieflings into the "bad boys of D&D" and trying to make them sexy, as in leather wearing punk sexy. Yeah.....


from
EE

VanBuren
2008-01-20, 01:48 PM
simple,


Every single person who has a problem with FR, write one letter adressed to them, and send one email per account. In each letter/email write what you don't like. Tell all of your friends who don't like the changes to write letters as well. Remember, WOTC knows that for every letter that is written, their are a many more who aren't writing complaining.
from
EE

What makes this different from say, an online petition? If I recall, those things have a notoriously poor success rate.

DeathQuaker
2008-01-20, 01:54 PM
simple,


Every single person who has a problem with FR, write one letter adressed to them, and send one email per account. In each letter/email write what you don't like. Tell all of your friends who don't like the changes to write letters as well. Remember, WOTC knows that for every letter that is written, their are a many more who aren't writing complaining.
from
EE

Am I invisible? Seriously. I try to write helpful things, and then nobody notices.

A point to your suggestion, as posted above, that may be something important for you to keep in mind:



(This) is a decent idea, except that I have a feeling if the FR book is scheduled to be distributed next... September, IIRC, they're likely already in final draft stages for the setting, unfortunately. The next several months would be laying out, proofing, finalizing art, printing, and prepping for distribution. They could probably make some changes at this point, but not do a complete rewrite.


I honestly admire your wish to make changes. I agree with you it sucks. The problem is, it is probably too late to change their sourcebook at this state. The best thing you can do is not buy and encourage others to not do the same.

You may disagree with me, but I'd appreciate it if the point were noted, as I feel it is relevant to the conversation. Thank you.

That is all. I won't bother you any more.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 02:04 PM
Am I invisible? Seriously. I try to write helpful things, and then nobody notices.

A point to your suggestion, as posted above, that may be something important for you to keep in mind:



.

Um, i wrote that as you had just finished. It does happen people



Also WOTC is a company, they need an already existing fanbase for the new project to get off the ground. If most of their existing fanbase doesn't like the new idea, they will lose money and more importantly, credibility. As for online petitions, those tend not to work because they require to much organization, however if every single person on this thread writes one letter and sends one email to WOtC, it will make a difference, as WOTC will have to realize that X number of people don't like the changes because of X reasons, and remember, for every person who writes a letter expressing his complaints, there are a a few dozen others who also don't like but are to lazy to write/no longer will buy from WOTC. The biggest reason why WOTC can do this is because nobody is going to change anything is because they can't realize the amount of people who are upset, they aren't omnipotent. Hell, if in every email you direct them to this thread, they will have to acknowledge their is a point. If you contact friends or other posters to have them write as well, it is going to make a difference in their figures. WOTC needs a supportive fan base
from
EE

Moral Wiz
2008-01-20, 02:05 PM
Okay, no offense intended, but let's start from the top, and work down to your signature.

Warlocks are not a race now, nor will they be in 4e. They are a class. Tieflings in 3.x are a non-core, level adjusted planetouched outsider, a human with a bit of fiendish blood in his ancestry that has come to the fore. In 4e, they're the children of those who have made pacts with fiends, rather than bred with them. (Ooooh, don't want demon-sex, it offends our delicate sensibilities. Now Grom, go out there and slice off some heads.) They are also a core race, that will breed (not "bread." They aren't whole wheat) more tieflings 100% of the time.

Any civilization they may have will depend on the setting.

Lastly, your signature. While "assimar" is highly amusing, it's Aasimar.
You don't sound amused.:smalltongue:

What I meant (non-withstanding all the spelling errors, which I'd say were merely "somewhat bad" by net standards.) was that they'd replaced the whole "Blood of Demons" thing, with "Pacts with Demons" . Which, until this, was the warlock's Schtick. So, they are now a race with the warlock's background. That's what I meant by warlocks as a race.

And I was asking(since some people seemed to have details on 4th edition FR, or at least this cataclysm thing) If such a civilization was being introduced.

And thanks for pointing out the mistake in my signature. I generally get it right, but... well, I always used to pronounce Tiefling as Tyfling. I'm an old hand at getting such things wrong.:smallwink:

Telok
2008-01-20, 02:25 PM
I honestly admire your wish to make changes. I agree with you it sucks. The problem is, it is probably too late to change their sourcebook at this state. The best thing you can do is not buy and encourage others to not do the same.

I work at the major printing company in my region, we have an annual publication that's pretty much one copy per household plus extras. For a distribution of about half a million copies we start the printing process roughly eight weeks ahead of our ship date. It's a 20'ish page booklet and we have two shifts a day on it for that whole time, every day of the week. And that's just for us to ship, it's generally another month before copies hit the street.

Generally whenever WotC announces any books I assume that it's already finished and in the last editing stages. The customers have no input by the time this sort of thing is announced.

Of course the last settings I bought were Planescape and Spell Jammer, and the only 3.5 books I own are the XPH and PH (bought used). I have been tempted to get a copy of Bo9S, but generally I stopped buying stuff from WotC after 3rd ed. I've just stopped being impressed with the product.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-20, 02:57 PM
Oh.

What happened to Hallrua? does anyone know? I liked that place. Sure, it was a magocracy, but it was interesting.
Well, given that Halruaa (note the correct spelling) is, in fact, ruled by wizards, and all wizards are going to die, I would guess that complete chaos happened to it... if they were lucky. What's more likely is that it became a nexus for the Spellplague and everyone died.
...well, Ilmater likes pain, which Loviatar likes inflicting...

:smalleek:
Untrue. Loviatar likes torture, and Ilmater lives to relieve suffering. That he does this by bearing the weight of the world himself doesn't mean he likes it.

J.Gellert
2008-01-20, 03:22 PM
Why reboot the Forgotten Realms? I have been playing D&D for what it is. Now sure, they can change the rules to keep things fresh, but why change the fluff?

If you are changing the rules and the fluff, why should I keep playing D&D? Because it has the name on it? There is a bunch of other systems I could use instead to portray my heroic fantasy. Hmmm... I think I will pick 3.5 edition with my homebrew stuff. Yeap, I like that. It is decided.

I am happy I decided that now before spending hard-earned $$$ on new books. I only regret one thing; that NWN2 is the last computer RPG we see on the D&D we know and love. But oh well.

Chronicled
2008-01-20, 03:34 PM
Now, I'm sure everyone will tell me "you ought to play Eberron instead if you feel like that," but killing off the majority of high-level NPCs gets rid of the main reason I wouldn't run a FR game (I really wish Elminister had gotten the axe, though). After reading what's been changed, I may give the 4.0 FR a shot.

Beleriphon
2008-01-20, 03:41 PM
Why reboot the Forgotten Realms? I have been playing D&D for what it is. Now sure, they can change the rules to keep things fresh, but why change the fluff?

They aren't they're changing the background material. The game world's metaplot timeline is being advanced to allow for the new rules to still work within the world and not completely crap on everything that came before. FR fans bitched when Elminster got levels in rogue, can you imagine what people would do if WotC took the setting as is and just gave it new rules, "fans" would plotz themselves. So instead WotC says, "All that stuff you knew before? Yeah it all worked, it all still happened, but now 30+ years since that stuff you knew happened the world works this way because of X."

That method is clean, its simple and it doesn't invalidate any previous fluff.

Selandriel
2008-01-20, 03:58 PM
All I'll say about this is that I'm really, really psyched. Wizards is doing essentially what I did myself with FR for my last campaign. In fact, it's so similar, I'm wondering if they're spying on me. ;)

I love the Realms, but the need this.

I'll miss Mystra. :C

Tiki Snakes
2008-01-20, 04:17 PM
They aren't they're changing the background material. The game world's metaplot timeline is being advanced to allow for the new rules to still work within the world and not completely crap on everything that came before. FR fans bitched when Elminster got levels in rogue, can you imagine what people would do if WotC took the setting as is and just gave it new rules, "fans" would plotz themselves. So instead WotC says, "All that stuff you knew before? Yeah it all worked, it all still happened, but now 30+ years since that stuff you knew happened the world works this way because of X."

That method is clean, its simple and it doesn't invalidate any previous fluff.

That's pretty much how I understood it to be myself, and is by far the more elegent solution.

This isn't a Retcon in any sense of the term, nor a reboot at all. Reboot implies scrapping the entire universe and it's continuity and starting again, and is really quite a different matter altogether.

Were they to reboot, then yes, I could agree that it would be a dreadfull idea.

Nerd-o-rama
2008-01-20, 04:24 PM
Because the Wizards writing staff reads too many comic books.

Or, in fewer words: "Superboy Punch!"

Talya
2008-01-20, 04:33 PM
They aren't they're changing the background material. The game world's metaplot timeline is being advanced to allow for the new rules to still work within the world and not completely crap on everything that came before. FR fans bitched when Elminster got levels in rogue, can you imagine what people would do if WotC took the setting as is and just gave it new rules, "fans" would plotz themselves. So instead WotC says, "All that stuff you knew before? Yeah it all worked, it all still happened, but now 30+ years since that stuff you knew happened the world works this way because of X."

That method is clean, its simple and it doesn't invalidate any previous fluff.

Except the Forgotten Realms isn't just a campaign setting. It's a story setting. They're taking the characters we've been following and getting attached to for years and just killing them all off. It's equivalent to ...take your favorite TV show or series of books or movies. Let's say the writers decided to just kill off 90% of the characters and totally rework the idea of the series from fantasy to sci-fi or similar (since that's practically happening in FR.) Would it bother you?

They are not advancing the timeline far enough to do that. If it were ten thousand years later, that'd be different...but not like this.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-20, 05:02 PM
Now, I'm sure everyone will tell me "you ought to play Eberron instead if you feel like that," but killing off the majority of high-level NPCs gets rid of the main reason I wouldn't run a FR game (I really wish Elminister had gotten the axe, though). After reading what's been changed, I may give the 4.0 FR a shot.
You wouldn't run an FR game because the Realms has NPCs? :smallconfused: Given that, as the DM, you control said NPCs, I fail to see what the problem is. Just don't have them run across the characters, and if the PCs go looking for them, they're either not home or just tell them to buzz off and annoy someone else.

Zeal
2008-01-20, 05:48 PM
Why 'reboot' FR? Because it's long overdue

My players were (and some sadly, still are) FR fiends and wanted me to run a campaign on the Sword Coast. I tried reading some of their source books on the subject, and after a day of planning said "I can't bring myself to do this".

The only thing that I dislike about the proposed changes to the setting is keeping around Elminster and Drizzt. Actually, that is an oversight; I also dislike the fact that Drow are going to become an LA +0 player race (or whatever the 4E equivalent will be)

Ultimately, it doesn't matter, 'cause I still won't touch the Forgotten Realms with the standard issue three meter pole.

Saucy_Ninja
2008-01-20, 05:49 PM
Anyone else here curious as to why the Devils of FR 4.0 are no longer "Devils". Now they're all, by definition, "fallen angels"?

I am also curious as to why gnomes were taken out as a Core handbook race, with tieflings apparently replacing them. And on that, why tieflings and not aasimars? Why? Why?!

And then there's the whole bit about all the Demi-, Lesser, and Medium powered deities kicking the bucket to some mysterious "god virus"...

Mr. Greenwood...why do you make me cry myself to sleep at night...?

VanBuren
2008-01-20, 06:08 PM
Anyone else here curious as to why the Devils of FR 4.0 are no longer "Devils". Now they're all, by definition, "fallen angels"?

That's kind of what they were in the first place. Apparently they were angels who fought demons and became corrupted in the process or something along those lines.

kamikasei
2008-01-20, 06:14 PM
Why 'reboot' FR? Because it's long overdue...

...I tried reading some of their source books on the subject, and after a day of planning said "I can't bring myself to do this"...

...Ultimately, it doesn't matter, 'cause I still won't touch the Forgotten Realms with the standard issue three meter pole.

So they should change the setting so that people who wouldn't run games in it... still won't? And people who would... also now won't want to?

Zeal
2008-01-20, 06:18 PM
So they should change the setting so that people who wouldn't run games in it... still won't? And people who would... also now won't want to?

Well, the main reason why I won't run a game in FR is due to 3rd edition Forgotten Realms, changing it would make it more playable, but my personal preference is avoiding it at all costs.

kamikasei
2008-01-20, 06:24 PM
Well, the main reason why I won't run a game in FR is due to 3rd edition Forgotten Realms, changing it would make it more playable, but my personal preference is avoiding it at all costs.

But that's my point. You don't like the setting and don't want to run games in it. Other people do both. If changing the system doesn't get you to change your mind, but does drive away those who like it as it is, what's the point?

More to the point: if someone wants to play in Forgotten Realms, then why change the Realms around so that they're not the setting the person wanted to play in?

Saucy_Ninja
2008-01-20, 06:34 PM
A quick question, have they already adapted a list of all of the deities and countries that get wiped out in this new world? It's just that I really, really don't want Hoar to go, he's become one of my favorite deities in the last little while. Who needs justice when you have a god of poetic justice whose voices his pleasure and displeasure with thunder?

I am afraid to say that Hoar is dead, along with the rest of the Mulhorandi pantheon. And all the Demi-Gods. And the Lesser Deities. Most everyone is. I feel your pain, though. Hoar was my favorite of the Mulhorandi pantheon as well. *le sigh*

BEWARE THE GOD-PLAGUE! WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!:smallfurious:

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 06:43 PM
You wouldn't run an FR game because the Realms has NPCs? :smallconfused: Given that, as the DM, you control said NPCs, I fail to see what the problem is. Just don't have them run across the characters, and if the PCs go looking for them, they're either not home or just tell them to buzz off and annoy someone else.

That is pretty much how your suppose to handle FR yes

And yes this is a recone, because their going against their own rules and destroying over a decade worth's of storyline in order to advance 4E, fans be damned
from
EE

Tobrian
2008-01-20, 07:11 PM
This is not strictly speaking about FR, but i'll try to answer your questions:


I am also curious as to why gnomes were taken out as a Core handbook race, with tieflings apparently replacing them. And on that, why tieflings and not aasimars?

Aasimars ARE going to be a new core player race, along with the tiefling, in 4E, according to "Wizards Presents Races and Classes". They renamed them to "celestrials" to because they thought the name "aasimar" sounded stupid.

The new races so far -also they might add others in later players handbooks- will be Humans, Dragonborn, Dwarves, Eladrins (wtf? they're fey creatures from Manual of the Planes in 3E, but in 4E they become the original "High Elves"), Elves (more fey), Halflings, Tieflings, Celestrials, Drow (dark fey), and Warforged (from Eberron). Races that previously had LA now will gain the racial advantages slowly, as I understand in a process similar to racial levels in 3.5.

As you might have noticed, they don't mention half-elves or half-orcs. Probably because they're not "cool" enough. The word "cool" is used quite a lot in the Wizards Presents. Everything, classes, races, is supposed to be much "cooler" that before. The non-cool kids have no place in 4E. :smallannoyed:

Oh yes, darkvision and low-light vision doesn't exist anymore. Kaput. Gone. Because, the writers claim, it was far too much hassle for poor GMs to describe the same scenes underground or at night for characters with torches, characters with low-light, with 60' darkvision or 120' darkvision. And also, they seem to think it was so unfair to humans, halflings and lizardfolk PCs that all other races get to have some cool vision to see in the dark, and they had to use light sources. So now darkvision's gone the way of the dodo. Dwarves (and gnomes and drow) now will have to run around the Underdark with lanterns. Which means they probably wrote out the drow's light sensitivity too, now drow will merely be a race of evil elves with dark skin who run around and revere Lolth. Cheers. *yawn*

As for the gnomes, the writers claim they left them out because too many players apparently had complained about the gnomes' role as alchemists and artificers being "too technological" for the fantasy setting, and because the DRAGONLANCE idea of the tinker gnomes with crazy machines has been "thoroughly used by games such as World of Warcraft". Eh? But they put in Warforged instead? Does this make sense?

WotC claims that gnomes suck because (quote)
Wizards Presents Races and Classes, page 51:
"Gnomes lack a strong position in D&D. If you ask someone to name the important races in the world if D&D, gnomes always seem to come in last. They're elf-dwarf-halflings - a strange mixture of the three with little to call their own beside being pranksters." That's right, they're basically telling us that we the players only want races with a strongly defined role for optimal min-maxing. Heaven forbid that I play a race that lacks a strong position, whatever that means, and that I would have to define my PC's role and personality myself! By that logic, they should have cut out humans, too.

They continue to say that they toyed with the idea of replacing standard gnomes with forest or deep gnomes, but these subraces had "the same problem as the gnome, only more exaggerated" (whatever this mysterious problem is... no "unique position in the world" in their words... wait, couldnt that be said about elves, too?) They tried the idea of using the whisper gnomes from Races of Stone and making them fey creatures (like the 4E elves) and spies for the elves. Nope, this apprently "diminished" the elves' "iconic" coolness. *eyeroll* But the last idea of making gnomes into dark fey... took gnomes "took far from their roots". *brain explodes* So, first they complain about the standard gnomes being not defined enough in a role, but then complain that changing them would take them too far away from that role?

So, they took out gnomes but they left in halflings? WTF? If they want to graciously "protect" us players from the atrocity of accidentally playing a small-sized fighter who sucks in melee... wouldn't the halfling with its -2 STR be much much worse of? :smallconfused:

Now the halfling is the only small race left. Really, if they're adding such freaks like dragonborn, warforged and tieflings, why didn't they make kobolds or hobgoblins or Shifters a player race? I like kobolds.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 07:17 PM
Wow, Tobrian, I totally agree

If i can get time out of my mid term overrun schedule i should re edit my review on 4E
from
EE

Saucy_Ninja
2008-01-20, 07:34 PM
Gah, I get all fired up about this. It's like watching someone you love become an alcoholic, test positive for AIDS, and get cancer all at the same time and no matter what you try there's nothing you can do to stop their endless downward spiral.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 07:36 PM
Gah, I get all fired up about this. It's like watching someone you love become an alcoholic, test positive for AIDS, and get cancer all at the same time and no matter what you try there's nothing you can do to stop their endless downward spiral.

Eh? i don't really know what to say
from
EE

Saucy_Ninja
2008-01-20, 07:42 PM
My feelings on FR's current direction. That's all.

EvilElitest
2008-01-20, 07:50 PM
My feelings on FR's current direction. That's all.

No i don't disagree, i just don't quite understand. Care to explain a tad bit more?
from
EE

SurlySeraph
2008-01-20, 07:50 PM
Anyone else here curious as to why the Devils of FR 4.0 are no longer "Devils". Now they're all, by definition, "fallen angels"?

That's OK with me. That's canonically what they originally were, and it lets the writers not have to repeat either "demon" or "devil" all the time lest the use of a synonym be technically wrong.


I am also curious as to why gnomes were taken out as a Core handbook race, with tieflings apparently replacing them. And on that, why tieflings and not aasimars? Why? Why?!

I can deal with losing the gnomes, though it somewhat irritates me. For the tieflings, it's the Drizzt Effect.


And then there's the whole bit about all the Demi-, Lesser, and Medium powered deities kicking the bucket to some mysterious "god virus"...

That one's because - wait. I hadn't heard about that one yet. "God virus?" Whaaaat? I guess it's part of their irritating "get rid of all the unnecessary gods" thing, but... "god virus?" They said they were just going to make them into demipowers or major celestials, which you don't really have to worry about unless the party is visiting their home planes! "God virus?!" If they kill off Jergal, I'm going to be MAJORLY pissed.


Mr. Greenwood...why do you make me cry myself to sleep at night...?

It builds character. :smallbiggrin:

mostlyharmful
2008-01-20, 07:55 PM
That one's because - wait. I hadn't heard about that one yet. "God virus?" Whaaaat? I guess it's part of their irritating "get rid of all the unnecessary gods" thing, but... "god virus?" They said they were just going to make them into demipowers or major celestials, which you don't really have to worry about unless the party is visiting their home planes! "God virus?!" If they kill off Jergal, I'm going to be MAJORLY pissed.

Apparently when Mystra bought it and the weave collapsed it sent a shockwave through the planes and leveled anything below greater deity level protected areas/domains. So maybe lower powered gods in domains of their supperiors survived, don't bet on it though.

Mkhaiwati
2008-01-20, 08:05 PM
Mr. Greenwood...why do you make me cry myself to sleep at night...?

actually, it wasn't his decision. When he was informed by the developers of the new Realms at Gencon in... I think in 2005 (that long ago!) what was happening, there was a big brou-ha-ha. There was a meeting with the writers and designers concerning the new direction FR was going to go with 4E then, and many in the room were against it. Eventually, Ed Greenwood decided to go with it, saying he might be able to help develop and keep the setting still Realm-ish. He thought it better to ride the boat down the rapids and hang on for dear life rather than jump off the side and possibly sink completely.

He was against it, so were many other designers/writers, but the decision was taken from their hands.There is a complete write-up of this happening on the Candlekeep website, just search for Greenwood's comments on 4e or such.

Such a huge lead time in the setting (from 2005 till now) is why they won't change anything, what is done is done. ("The way it is is the way it is" as Captain Reynolds says) Eberron got a reprieve when they decided not to change the setting after the fans cried "foul!", but FR gets the proverbial shaft again.

bugsysservant
2008-01-20, 08:18 PM
As you might have noticed, they don't mention half-elves or half-orcs. Probably because they're not "cool" enough. The word "cool" is used quite a lot in the Wizards Presents. Everything, classes, races, is supposed to be much "cooler" that before. The non-cool kids have no place in 4E. :smallannoyed:

See, that's why I've always had Gnomes, Half-Elves and Half-Orcs smoke. I feel it levels some of the massive coolness gap between them and the Humans, Halflings and Dwarves. Elves I don't even bother trying, since their coolness is clearly OVER 9000!!!1! :smallwink:

Mkhaiwati
2008-01-20, 08:28 PM
found it here under the ask Greenwood thread of last year, shortly after the Grand History came out. I snipped part of his reply, but it is still very long. The summit was mentioned at the very last.

http://forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=8518&whichpage=62

<snip>

"Red Walker, you’re welcome, thanks for the love, and you are very, very right to say: “Fear of change is natural, and greater fear of Big changes is too!”
The reactions of Realms fans were expected for this very reason. Of COURSE everyone will be upset, or at least anxious, in some way, whether eager for change or hating its possible/probable consequences. Wooly Rupert and others are correct to say we haven’t seen enough yet to really judge the so-called “new” Realms, and I agree.
None of which doesn’t make opinions on it, based on the little we have seen, perfectly valid. Zandilar isn’t the only one to decide that the changes she’s heard about thus far seem “so... well... dumb, to put it bluntly.”
Please, please, all of you: respect each other’s opinions. Disagree with them as heatedly as you want, but please bend over backwards not to disrespect each other for holding them. As it happens, the way the “peekaboo” revelations have thus far appeared (I’m guessing so as to foment maximum “buzz” and therefore unpaid publicity), I agree with Zandilar. Those don’t sound like MY gods. :}
However, Chosen of Moradin quite rightly points out that “a timeline is not an explanation of what happens. It's only a summary. And a summary cannot explain clearly anything. The summary of the Fall of Myth Drannor don't explain the Fall of Myth Drannor. So, to see exactly what happened, we will have to wait until the next FRCS.”
Correct. As I’ve always said, mortals in the Realms can never know the “truth” about divine deeds and intentions, only what’s reported to them. By deities, priests, soothsayers, “possessed” madwits, and in dream-visions - - and ALL of those sources can be mistaken or misinterpreted, or can lie and distort or slant to further their own agendas. Yes, even the gods themselves. So what appears in THE GRAND HISTORY OF THE REALMS is what “the loudest reports say” happened, not what every being in the Realms personally saw and therefore “knows” (and agrees) happened.
It should be obvious to everyone by now that there are major changes in magic and the deities underway, and that the Spellplague is part of that. We now know that it begins in the Year of Blue Fire, in a dramatic way, and that part of Bob’s newest novel takes place a hundred years in the future (at a time when almost all human characters alive in the Realms of “today,” if they haven’t found some magical means of prolonging their lifespans - - in a “magic unstable and unreliable” situation - - will have perished of old age)."
<snip>
"However, this leads to another important point Zandilar raised: “If I run my campaign prior to the Year of Blue Fire, then I don't need the 4e products. Since I don't need them, I don't buy them. Since I don't buy them, WotC doesn't get my money. WotC doesn't get my money, and it is starting to look like a lot of the "old guard" are going down this path... So WotC starts to loose money, and eventually the line will get cut.”
This is indeed the Big Risk in all of this, the “roll of the dice” that I wish someone had never decided to make (because I personally value the ongoing development of a shared and unbroken imaginary Grand History of a fictional fantasy setting as something magnificent in itself, an achievement we should all continue to contribute to).
Yet it’s happening regardless of my personal wants, and I choose to be onboard trying to paddle and steer, rather than left behind swimming in the water, calling out that perhaps we should have set a different course.
Zandilar is perfectly correct to post: “I've never ever had problems with a business wanting to make a profit. That is, after all, the purpose of a business. But what they're doing here is taking a HUGE risk with a known quantity. They're risking the entire Realms product line with this move, and they seem to have gone to great lengths to rub us old guard up the wrong way with the changes they're making. (Just my perception, I'm sure they haven't deliberately set out to slight us.)”
I don’t think anyone at Wizards set out to deliberately upset or slight anyone. I do think it has been decided to make these changes swiftly, and that very “brutal rapidity” is increasing some of the upset along with the “buzz.”
However, there’s no reason at all to move your own campaign if you don’t want to. IF there’s a hundred-year jump, that’s a LOT of time to roleplay through; most FR campaigns I hear about don’t cover more than ten to twelve years in the Realms unless they incorporate “down time” jumps of their own, before they “run down” and the folks involved start anew.
Yes, the Spellplague is going to shift the flavour of the Realms (if wizards are dying or their magic is going wild or failing, and priests are all upset, too, it follows that the “tone” of daily life and therefore of roleplaying will change a bit), but the Realms is a big place, and there’s no reason yet to suspect that “all civilization will fall.” Waterdeep, Silverymoon, Cormyr - - I don’t think a century will sweep any of them away. CHANGE them, yes, but they’re all changing constantly, anyway; we just usually live with the changes as they’re happening rather than seeing a “big jump-cut.” Nor is there any reason, based on what we’ve seen thus far, to believe that the Spellplague is a single big event, over in a short time; the very name implies something of longer duration, with almost certainly (if real-world “plagues” are anything to go by) varying results from place to place and person to person (this city or region largely unaffected, that wizard untouched, this one over here driven mad; that allows DMs plenty of “elbow room” to preserve the “heart locations” of a beloved campaign, and favourite PCs and NPCs, too; it’s “the rest of the Realms” where the BIG changes occur . . . something that a lot of DMs have already been doing for two decades, as they steer their own campaigns around events in the published Realms).
None of which means my arguments should be seen as quelling, denying, or belittling the personal anger and upset longtime Realms fans are feeling over this. Believe me, I know how you feel. :}
Neriandal Freit, your queries don’t come off as offensive, at all (and I’m glad you loved that little scene in EL’S DAUGHTER; one of my favourite moments, out of everything I’ve written). I hear you and I sympathize, deeply. (And yes, I’ll check out “Redeemers of Dawn,” and let you know; somebody please give THO a heads up when the new Compendium is released, okay?)
My answer begins: Although I know the Realms is intended as “a place to play,” and therefore should be something of a haven from the unpleasantnesses of real life, so we can hold on to elements in it we love and hold most precious, even in the Realms everything changes. I hate changing anything in the published Realms before I finish the (admittedly endless) task of detailing every corner of it (we still aren’t really off the first continent, are we?), but the alternative is static boredom . . . dust settling on statues in silence.
Everything changes; eventually, everyone (even deities, as they are conceived of in the Realms, with power tied to worshippers) dies. So with that said, my "answer direct" to you becomes another question: In real life, and in the Realms, do you NOT fall in love with someone, or befriend them, or work with them on something that interests you both and that you can both be proud of, because someday both of you will die?
I don’t think so. Despite yourself, even if you know we’re all rushing to oblivion, you do it anyway. In the end, that’s what “living” is all about.
We know we’re all doomed (as the song goes: “We’re here for a good time/Not a long time”), but we go ahead and love, laugh, climb mountains, read books, and fall in love with the Realms anyway. At least I did. :}
If it helps you decide, I intend to go on exploring the Realms, bringing us all more detail. Some of it in the “now” Realms, and some of it in the “new” Realms.
I strongly suspect the published Realms will shortly become “new Realms only” in terms of the time-setting of products - - and that many fans may step back from that new Realms. That’s an individual choice I certainly don’t want to try to (further than by setting forth my views here) influence for everyone. It’s going to have to be your call.
I hope you’ll join with Xysma and others in “clinging to the merest sliver of hope that Ed, Eric, and the rest can salvage what at first glance is going to be a nightmare for those of us who love the Realms so dearly,” and therefore at least give the new Realms a look.
I’m going to go right on exploring the Realms, and if that means finding some way to paint in bits of the “Lost Years” in the time-jump, I’ll try to find some way to do that. We MIGHT end up with a Realms of the novels that’s far “ahead in time” of where you or other gamers might be roleplaying, and therefore not conflicting much with your unfolding play. Lovely smell over here, steak sizzling over there, so to speak.
I KNOW it hurts when you’ve come to love and cherish a fictional place and characters, that you can enjoy in your imagination, and someone goes and stomps on what you hold precious. Yet what lies your imagination can be only be hurt if you let it be.
In the Realms, this has all happened before; the Mystra you loved that scene about is Mystra Number 2 (Number 3 if you count Mystryl). The Realms you love grew out of previous planet-shaking debacles. and you may come to like the post-Spellplague Realms.
Or not. I understand and respect both your love for the Realms, and that you feel the way you do right now.
Kuje expressed his dismay early on in this, and many other scribes have cried out between him and you; I understand and sympathize with all of your misgivings and raw emotions. I went through the same thing at a secret summit meeting at GenCon some years ago; believe me, heavy-hitter novelists and game designers who love the Realms have argued about this “change” over and over heatedly.
There’s always a strong streak in gamers and game designers of what I said onstage at the Killer Breakfast this year, when Tracy asked me what my character was going to do, and I replied: “Being a game designer, I go for the bright shiny object.” We always feel the lure of what’s exciting and new.
Yet I deliberately left the ever-busier city where I grew up (“home”) to go and live in the country, to try to cling to some of the good things of the past that were slipping away in the big city. So I’m going through this struggle, too. Lose Syluné? Hell, lose ALL the human NPCs I spent forty years bringing to life? This had BETTER be good!
Wizards of the Coast obviously believes it will be. I’m going to do my best to help them make it so. I hope Candlekeep continues to be the friendly forum of fellow Realms-lovers that it has always been, as we all go through this together. If you don’t want to move to the “new” Realms, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with either you or the “old” Realms. Goodness knows Candlekeep, and the hearts of its scribes, are both big enough to accommodate both. If we want them to be.
(Strikes dramatic pose, raises sword to gleam in the sunset, and hopes breeches won’t fall down.)"

Kompera
2008-01-20, 08:41 PM
Why "reboot" the Forgotten Realms?

Because it makes the most sense.

I've suggested previously on this board, and I believe it to be true, that game balance can not come to 4e without a savage curtailing of the powers of Arcane casters. As it stands now, there are about 50 spells per level for Wizards and such to select from, and with such a broad lot of spells it is inevitable that one or another will be over powered either by itself or in combination with some other spell or accident of game design.

If this balancing is indeed going to happen with the transition to 4e, then what makes more sense than killing off the Goddess of Magic, wiping out or redefining the Weave, and slaying all NPC spell casters above some arbitrary level?

Then, you introduce the shiny new 4e game system. And that provides the fluff justification to back up the GM when he says to the Wizards in his group "Tear up your spell lists, boys. There's a new sheriff in town, and he's got you on a much shorter leash." That makes much more sense and goes over better than just saying "We're playing 4e now, so lets convert your characters over."

Rutee
2008-01-20, 08:44 PM
As you might have noticed, they don't mention half-elves or half-orcs. Probably because they're not "cool" enough. The word "cool" is used quite a lot in the Wizards Presents. Everything, classes, races, is supposed to be much "cooler" that before. The non-cool kids have no place in 4E. :smallannoyed:
They mention them. They had a "They're coming" note, IIRC.


Oh yes, darkvision and low-light vision doesn't exist anymore. Kaput. Gone. Because, the writers claim, it was far too much hassle for poor GMs to describe the same scenes underground or at night for characters with torches, characters with low-light, with 60' darkvision or 120' darkvision. And also, they seem to think it was so unfair to humans, halflings and lizardfolk PCs that all other races get to have some cool vision to see in the dark, and they had to use light sources. So now darkvision's gone the way of the dodo. Dwarves (and gnomes and drow) now will have to run around the Underdark with lanterns. Which means they probably wrote out the drow's light sensitivity too, now drow will merely be a race of evil elves with dark skin who run around and revere Lolth. Cheers. *yawn*
Because God knows Light sensitivity is what made the Drow Drow. No, it wasn't the culture, their "Usually/Always" alignment, their hierarchy, nor their connection to their god, it was the light sensitivity. Cantankerous Curmudgeonery of the highest order. I do not mind if they kill off extra book keeping or details. I don't care if they /keep/ them, since in the end that's what distinguishes DnD from other games, but I don't mind if they toss them out.


As for the gnomes, the writers claim they left them out because too many players apparently had complained about the gnomes' role as alchemists and artificers being "too technological" for the fantasy setting, and because the DRAGONLANCE idea of the tinker gnomes with crazy machines has been "thoroughly used by games such as World of Warcraft". Eh? But they put in Warforged instead? Does this make sense?
Who's talking minmaxing? Besides you anyway. They didn't want to include Gnomes without there being a strict niche. And since they refuse to just go the 9 yards and have technology and magic side by side (God knows why, personally, aside from the fact that I suppose not everyone likes Magic/Technology concurrently advancing and oftentimes diametrically opposing one another..)


WotC claims that gnomes suck because (quote) That's right, they're basically telling us that we the players only want races with a strongly defined role for optimal min-maxing. Heaven forbid that I play a race that lacks a strong position, whatever that means, and that I would have to define my PC's role and personality myself! By that logic, they should have cut out humans, too.
That's nice and all, and I support you choosing your PC's role and personality yourself. And you know, they've kind of never disparaged that, seeing as it's still an option for everyone else. But races must have hats for NPCs, at least, as it's a rule of the world. It is no less true in your reverred Dragonlance, from what I've gatherred on it.


They continue to say that they toyed with the idea of replacing standard gnomes with forest or deep gnomes, but these subraces had "the same problem as the gnome, only more exaggerated" (whatever this mysterious problem is... no "unique position in the world" in their words... wait, couldnt that be said about elves, too?) They tried the idea of using the whisper gnomes from Races of Stone and making them fey creatures (like the 4E elves) and spies for the elves. Nope, this apprently "diminished" the elves' "iconic" coolness. *eyeroll* But the last idea of making gnomes into dark fey... took gnomes "took far from their roots". *brain explodes* So, first they complain about the standard gnomes being not defined enough in a role, but then complain that changing them would take them too far away from that role?
You oculd say that about elves, but you would be a liar. Elves have always been, in myth, forest dwellers in touch with nature. The nature of their connection with nature is often different, but they're generally the people who hang out in glades. Saying they don't have a unique role because it was shared with gnomes may be accurate, but it's ignoring that gnomes are less widespread in myth.


So, they took out gnomes but they left in halflings? WTF? If they want to graciously "protect" us players from the atrocity of accidentally playing a small-sized fighter who sucks in melee... wouldn't the halfling with its -2 STR be much much worse of? :smallconfused:
....I'm pretty sure they didn't claim that as the reasoning.. >.>


Now the halfling is the only small race left. Really, if they're adding such freaks like dragonborn, warforged and tieflings, why didn't they make kobolds or hobgoblins or Shifters a player race? I like kobolds.
Indeed, why not? They ought to make Kobolds and Goblins a PHB race.

As to the OP, I genuinely don't know why they're resetting the FR, though I Find it odd that you're saying "Make the rules match the fluff". Lest one forget, DnD is a system that isn't /supposed/ to come with a strong defined world; FR is iconic of DnD, but if you check the PHB, none of the FR's gods are even in it. Why? Because FR is in fact, not the default setting. There isn't one. Try to bear /that/ much in line.


I've suggested previously on this board, and I believe it to be true, that game balance can not come to 4e without a savage curtailing of the powers of Arcane casters. As it stands now, there are about 50 spells per level for Wizards and such to select from, and with such a broad lot of spells it is inevitable that one or another will be over powered either by itself or in combination with some other spell or accident of game design.

If this balancing is indeed going to happen with the transition to 4e, then what makes more sense than killing off the Goddess of Magic, wiping out or redefining the Weave, and slaying all NPC spell casters above some arbitrary level?

....Caster dominance was a setting element of FR? Did I miss something? When did that happen?

Kompera
2008-01-20, 09:42 PM
....Caster dominance was a setting element of FR? Did I miss something? When did that happen?
Yes it was. FR was set in D&D 3.5, which is horribly broken as far as game balance goes. You missed something that couldn't possibly be missed. How did that happen?

Leon
2008-01-20, 09:58 PM
Because it could do with a good kicking into shape

Rutee
2008-01-20, 10:14 PM
Yes it was. FR was set in D&D 3.5, which is horribly broken as far as game balance goes. You missed something that couldn't possibly be missed. How did that happen?

Nono, I know about Wizards' mechanical power. Did they out and out say that, within the Forgotten Realms, that Wizards were more powerful then sword swingers, as an objective fact on par with "Mystra is the Goddess of the Weave"?

Kompera
2008-01-20, 10:43 PM
Nono, I know about Wizards' mechanical power. Did they out and out say that, within the Forgotten Realms, that Wizards were more powerful then sword swingers, as an objective fact on par with "Mystra is the Goddess of the Weave"?
I understand your question, but I'm missing your point. Why would they need to "say that", and for what purpose? It is an observable fact.

"Wizards mechanical power" == "Wizards are more powerful then sword swingers"

Rutee
2008-01-20, 10:51 PM
I understand your question, but I'm missing your point. Why would they need to "say that", and for what purpose? It is an observable fact.

"Wizards mechanical power" == "Wizards are more powerful then sword swingers"

Well, no. I get where you're coming from: Because the mechanics work like this, the setting reality works like this" is a valid viewpoint, really. The thing is, *Most* games don't always have that connection. Especially not since DnD is in fact setting neutral. So, I don't think that, setting/narrative-wise, wizards were more powerful. Especially not since, to my knowledge, Wizards took forever to admit DnD wasn't balanced. >.>

Edit: Also, why is anyone complaining about them making a comparison to World of Warcraft, as opposed to Dragonlance? Firstly, they didn't say WoW came up with ti; They said they /used/ it. Second, it is FAR more likely that someone has played WoW then read DRagonlance, at this point.

AslanCross
2008-01-20, 11:42 PM
The only thing that I dislike about the proposed changes to the setting is keeping around Elminster and Drizzt. Actually, that is an oversight; I also dislike the fact that Drow are going to become an LA +0 player race (or whatever the 4E equivalent will be)


Actually, I think the level adjustment issue was more because they wanted to get rid of the LA mechanic and not because they wanted Drow to become overpowered.

JaxGaret
2008-01-21, 12:27 AM
Can't you just retcon FR back to the way it was before 4e in your campaigns?

I personally couldn't be happier with the changes they're making to the base gameworld setting. It seems to be much more, dare I say it, internally consistent.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-21, 01:12 AM
I understand your question, but I'm missing your point. Why would they need to "say that", and for what purpose? It is an observable fact.

"Wizards mechanical power" == "Wizards are more powerful then sword swingers"
The Open Lord of Waterdeep is a paladin. The kings of Cormyr have historically been warriors, and the current regent is a fighter. Various community leaders in the Dalelands tend to be rangers. Zhentil Keep is ruled by a cleric. Heaven forbid you find a wizard ruling any dwarven nations. In fact, the number of nations and city-states in Faerun that are ruled by wizards is observably smaller than the ones ruled by members of other classes, primarily fighters and paladins.

So it is an "observable fact" that wizards do not hold all the power in the Realms, hoo-hah about game mechanics notwithstanding.

horseboy
2008-01-21, 01:36 AM
Except the Forgotten Realms isn't just a campaign setting. It's a story setting. They're taking the characters we've been following and getting attached to for years and just killing them all off. It's equivalent to ...take your favorite TV show or series of books or movies. Let's say the writers decided to just kill off 90% of the characters and totally rework the idea of the series from fantasy to sci-fi or similar (since that's practically happening in FR.) Would it bother you?

They are not advancing the timeline far enough to do that. If it were ten thousand years later, that'd be different...but not like this.
*cough* Battlestar Gallactica 1984 *cough*

Khanderas
2008-01-21, 04:59 AM
Instead of changing everything, perhaps they could set the 4th edition a number of thousands of years into the future (whatever the date is "now" in FR).

That way they can coexist, the NPC's that apparantly has to be wiped to re-establish balance will have died from old age or battles. Gods will have had plenty of time to get offed and new ones to rise.
Cosmic canges to the magic system, new races enter (refugees from a collapsed dimension, half-X races mingle with eachother creating the half-X race) and old ones gone extinct (disease, deific curse, wars) and whatever else... no problem.
New continents ? Hey this is the playground of the gods.

Would that be an impossibility really ? Ten thousand years is a long time and much can happen. Or am I just trying to compromise and failing ?

Kompera
2008-01-21, 06:15 AM
The Open Lord of Waterdeep is a paladin. The kings of Cormyr have historically been warriors, and the current regent is a fighter. Various community leaders in the Dalelands tend to be rangers. Zhentil Keep is ruled by a cleric. Heaven forbid you find a wizard ruling any dwarven nations. In fact, the number of nations and city-states in Faerun that are ruled by wizards is observably smaller than the ones ruled by members of other classes, primarily fighters and paladins.

So it is an "observable fact" that wizards do not hold all the power in the Realms, hoo-hah about game mechanics notwithstanding.


You're missing my point. It's completely irrelevant which nation, adventuring group, religion, or city state is ruled by what kind of character. It's irrelevant if the FR fluff doesn't show Wizards dominating all nations, religions, cultures. It's enough that the game rules illustrate that imbalance.

Arcane casters are unbalanced in D&D 3.5. No "hoo-hah" required. If the Wizards are trying to bring that back into balance, while also providing some accompanying fluff to justify those changes (as well as the other 4e changes), then some kind of epic event is a natural means to that end. The death of the Goddess of Magic and the removal of most/all of the NPC Wizards works as such an epic event, while helping the GM explain the adjustment to the Wizard players. "Well, your Goddess died, and your teacher, and all of your Wizard friends. You managed to live, but at a cost. Let's sit down and work out your new spell list."

Charles Phipps
2008-01-21, 06:38 AM
Honestly; aside from the Shaar being now a ginormous hole, Unther is a Draconian nation, and Thay being a Mountain Kingdom. Not much has really changed.

The NPCs will be different but Ed Greenwood will be doing most of the new ones up.

Drascin
2008-01-21, 07:26 AM
Actually, yeah, generally it's the casters the ones who are in the highest positions of power. A high percentage of the most important npcs in the setting are arcanists (the seven sisters - except for Qilue, I think she was a cleric-, Elminster, Simbul, Manshoon, Khelben and a more than fair amount of other Harper leaders, etc. And let's not get on the actual magocracies like Thay or Halruaa), and a lot of the ones that aren't, it's because they're clerics (which, given the amount of gods in FR and the whole "worship or you're boned" stuff, is only logical, I admit). They are generally not the ones leading the nations, though, because they consider it small fish and prefer to spend their time in an elaborate chess game to protect or damn the whole continent.

In fact, I remember to like Cormyr a lot the first time I read the FR campaign setting, precisely because it seemed to be the only place where the actual big fish was more likely to carry a sword than a book. And even there, apparently the Royal Mage (or whatever it's title is in English), is pretty much on equal footing with the king himself, and, while theoretically under his orders, it sometimes seems as if he's an independent force with the privilege to smack kings around if needed.

So yeah, after reading a fair number of FR novels, my feeling is that, while noncasters are generally the ones ruling the day to day affairs, it always feels as if they're just doing so because the casters let them, since they don't care about such little affairs. And that's something I don't like at all in my campaigns, and why I stopped playing FR when I tried Eberron. I want to make my players feel like they're important players in the world - there might be people above them, but they're people to aspire to defeat and/or admire, not unreachable paragons of Deux Ex Machina - and it's just difficult to make them feel exultant when they can't help but feel "yay, we did it!... but I guess if any of those uber NPCs had been home, they could probably have done it better in a quarter the time, and we'd not have lost Jeff's character, and of course if the DM played this to it's necessary consequences instead of coddling us we'll be dead no helping it when Fzoul's cronies catch news of what we just did and send a crack squad of Zhentil wizards after us". It's just disheartening for them.

Which is why I don't really mind that much - I stopped using FR a long while ago, even if I still keep up with a fair amount of novels. And these changes really are not bad for the novels at all - it's a huge twist, but one that could be weaved into interesting stories. So, the only reason I might dislike this changes is mostly by empathy, because they've made so many people upset :smalltongue: .

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-21, 09:22 AM
You're missing my point. It's completely irrelevant which nation, adventuring group, religion, or city state is ruled by what kind of character. It's irrelevant if the FR fluff doesn't show Wizards dominating all nations, religions, cultures. It's enough that the game rules illustrate that imbalance.
No, I didn't miss your point. I'm making note of the fact that it's irrelevant. You say that the FR fluff needs to be updated to reflect the fact that wizards no longer pwn all, but the current fluff already doesn't reflect that supposed fact, so by your own logic there is no drastic cataclysm required.

AKA_Bait
2008-01-21, 09:49 AM
Would someone be so kind as to link to where they are getting the info on all the changes?

Ralfarius
2008-01-21, 10:04 AM
. . . but the current fluff already doesn't reflect that supposed fact . . .

As noted by Drascin:


Actually, yeah, generally it's the casters the ones who are in the highest positions of power. A high percentage of the most important npcs in the setting are arcanists (the seven sisters - except for Qilue, I think she was a cleric-, Elminster, Simbul, Manshoon, Khelben and a more than fair amount of other Harper leaders, etc. And let's not get on the actual magocracies like Thay or Halruaa), and a lot of the ones that aren't, it's because they're clerics (which, given the amount of gods in FR and the whole "worship or you're boned" stuff, is only logical, I admit). They are generally not the ones leading the nations, though, because they consider it small fish and prefer to spend their time in an elaborate chess game to protect or damn the whole continent.

No, seriously. Most of the super powers in the Realms are casters. Magic needs to be toned down. How can you justify toning down magic when all these super powerful individuals are casters? Killing them off in an event that also cripples magic (thus helping to prevent the rise of future super-powered casters) helps to balance out magic against not-magic. There can't be super powered casters if there isn't super-powerful magic, and there doesn't need to be super-powerful magic to justify the existence of super powered casters if they no longer exist.

Adumbration
2008-01-21, 10:11 AM
Would someone be so kind as to link to where they are getting the info on all the changes?

Seconded. Or at least a coherent list of changes that doesn't require you to shuffle through five pages. Perhaps in the original post?

CASTLEMIKE
2008-01-21, 10:26 AM
Here is part of it:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20080111a

AKA_Bait
2008-01-21, 10:27 AM
Here:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20080111a

Thank you kind sir!

DeathQuaker
2008-01-21, 10:39 AM
You don't need to change the fluff to change the rules, or vice versa.

If you're weakening spellcasters, but still want Elminster to kick ass, you make Elminster a higher level than he was in the previous version of the game, or otherwise alter his character sheet appropriately to suit the new mechanics. There is no reason to change the fiction just to justify the fact that you altered a spell progression chart.

The facts remaining are these (which has been pointed out by posters far more reasonable than I am, but they've been ignored, so I'll repeat it so it can be ignored again):

1. There are people who are die-hard fans of the Realms as they were, and die-hard enough that the changes are going to piss them off. Wizards will lose money from them, and those fans will no longer have support for the setting they wanted to play in.

2. There are a group of people who didn't like the Realms as they stood. Some of them will probably still not like the Realms even after the changes. For them, it would make more sense to market new worlds to them instead (with low-magic and/or what have you), rather than make changes that only might appease them, and piss lots of other people off in the process.

(An aside: I've seen many theoretical arguments show how spellcasters are overpowered. In theory, these arguments are correct. However, I've never actually seen it be a problem in actual gameplay, involving sensible players and GMs. Changing something because "in theory" it doesn't work doesn't make much sense when in practice it's just fine.)

Athaniar
2008-01-21, 11:29 AM
They let Tyr kill Helm and all 14+ mages will die?

This is the end. At least the setting will live up to it's name.

horseboy
2008-01-21, 12:24 PM
Instead of changing everything, perhaps they could set the 4th edition a number of thousands of years into the future (whatever the date is "now" in FR).

That way they can coexist, the NPC's that apparantly has to be wiped to re-establish balance will have died from old age or battles. Gods will have had plenty of time to get offed and new ones to rise.
Cosmic canges to the magic system, new races enter (refugees from a collapsed dimension, half-X races mingle with eachother creating the half-X race) and old ones gone extinct (disease, deific curse, wars) and whatever else... no problem.
New continents ? Hey this is the playground of the gods.

Would that be an impossibility really ? Ten thousand years is a long time and much can happen. Or am I just trying to compromise and failing ?
Traveler New Era. The setting died a painful, horrible death shortly thereafter.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-21, 12:48 PM
To complaints of "Why should we care about this now; everything official now happens 1000 years later"?

Tren
2008-01-21, 01:05 PM
Lotsa good stuff

Amen. FR's thoroughly detailed background and history is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand I love the variety and detail of individual nations, even cities, and the history and fallen empires that go with it. On the other hand, the presence of so many highly active semi-phenomenal nearly cosmic NPCs makes anything the players do seem diminished, even if these NPCs aren't involved. There's always somebody else who could have done it, done it better, and done it faster, they were just way too busy already. You as characters aren't really unique. There are hundreds if not thousands of people in FR that are as powerful or more powerful than you, and I feel like that diminishes the sense of heroism that makes this game fun.

Makes me feel like this. http://www.pvponline.com/2004/06/13/june-13-2004/

EvilElitest
2008-01-21, 01:07 PM
Traveler New Era. The setting died a painful, horrible death shortly thereafter.

Really? that seemed like a good idea to me. Alternate world?
from
EE

Orak
2008-01-21, 01:17 PM
I have to say that I am actually looking forward to a reboot of the realms. I will miss Helm for sure, as I have had many characters that have followed his guidance. Other than that I am happy they are getting rid of the rest of the high level characters that seem to be around every corner of the realms.

The reason for this is that I believe that when a character reaches epic levels (basically 18+), he should be able to shape the world around him. With a world full of equal powered characters this is not possible, but if the most powerful person you are going to meet in a city is going to be around 12th level then you will be able to command respect or fear from those around you.

I have been running FR games since it first appeared and I only have a few of the epic level characters residing in then realms. Elmister is one of them, but he is not really concerned in the activities of mortals, unless it threatens existence itself. The FR that I play in has been shaped by the PC's that have played their characters to epic levels in the realms. Countries have different borders, several major cities do not exist any more and others have sprung up in their stead. This is all because of the activities of PC's.

A fresh writeup of FR will not change the style of game that I choose to run. The PC's will still be able to reach epic status, but this time the out of the box version will be designed to let them hold sway over countries and influence the way the world turns. I am glad they are setting the game up so that PC's can become a real force in the world, not just another name on a long list of epic level characters.

horseboy
2008-01-21, 01:22 PM
Really? that seemed like a good idea to me. Alternate world?
from
EE
Traveler is/was a Sci-fi game. A "sentient computer virus" ripped through the interstellar empires and rendered the setting a lower tech/ lower power shell of itself. Pissed off everybody to the point that the company wound up going under.

BadJuJu
2008-01-21, 01:45 PM
I think its a good idea. One of the3 things that bugs me any time we have a FR game is why none of the big dogs dont wipe our BBEG's out? WHy is our motley crew of misfits all that stands in the way when there are 20 epic casters within a stones throw? Made no sense. Now, those aholes wont be there and I dont have to worry about it. All in all a good thing.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-21, 01:58 PM
wasn't there something to explain why the High Level NPCs rarely did anything? The whole "Cold Caster War" thing? The fact that if all the high level guys started fighting, the world would be destroyed, so there was a kind of informal truce not to meddle in other's affairs too closely or actively.

I thought there was some sort of short Elminstar speech on the subject.

Tren
2008-01-21, 02:17 PM
wasn't there something to explain why the High Level NPCs rarely did anything? The whole "Cold Caster War" thing? The fact that if all the high level guys started fighting, the world would be destroyed, so there was a kind of informal truce not to meddle in other's affairs too closely or actively.

I thought there was some sort of short Elminstar speech on the subject.

I've heard that before as well, but even still I find it hackneyed and an arbitrary reason. You're still working in someone's immense shadow. Dozens of epic supercasters, hundreds of powerful other NPCs, all of whom magically are too busy to take care of it, and so you get the breadcrumb quests as they work their way down to you.

AKA_Bait
2008-01-21, 02:29 PM
I've heard that before as well, but even still I find it hackneyed and an arbitrary reason. You're still working in someone's immense shadow. Dozens of epic supercasters, hundreds of powerful other NPCs, all of whom magically are too busy to take care of it, and so you get the breadcrumb quests as they work their way down to you.

I must agree here. I'm playing in a FR game now were we are approaching Epic levels and we still feel like Elminsters servants. Frankly, I just don't understand why they couldn't go to some other plane and duke it out.

Moral Wiz
2008-01-21, 02:32 PM
Or alternately a large percentile of "Old money" the schemes of whom have a drastic effect on the world, and the PC's by definition. Being involved in politics should be the Highlight of the Realms. There are so many major powers; interacting with them, watching them interact with each other... avoiding the crossfire. That's where the fun lies.

Why must it be assumed that the threat must be ancient? A power play between the Red Wizards and the Black Network leaves the PCs feeling like they have been caught between major powers, and still come out on top. Same could work in any other circumstances.

So long as you don't use "End the world" style quests, there is no need for PCs to ever be in a position where they should feel inferior to any NPC.

Premier
2008-01-21, 02:35 PM
To answer the original question, I think it's just a balancing act between various financially motivated goals:

- WotC wants a standard, "Ye Olde Mediaeval Europe" high fantasy basic setting for 4E. They need one, because this is what draws in casual fantasy fans, and fantasy fans who specifically prefer that style. Making the weirdness of magical steam-and-dungeonpunk of Eberron (or Planescape, or Dark Sun, etc.) the basic flavour would scare away the former group, and make latter turn towards Castles&Crusades, 3.5E and stuff like the Wilderlands settings instead. Yes, there are people who prefer Eberron and the like, and I'm pretty sure they'll still find enough products catering to their tastes. But when a non-roleplayer mark walks into the store and looks at the shelves, the first book he sees needs to be something (more-or-less) Tolkienish, or he won't buy.
- WotC wants to use an already known and loved setting. "Forgotten Realms" is already a highly recognised name in the target audience, while "Random new basic setting" isn't; and this would strongly reflect on sales figures.
- WotC wants to sell lots and lots of splatbooks. If only the rules change while the setting itself stays largely the same, there's no reason for players to buy a hundred new books: they can just use their 2E and 3E books for fluff, converting the stat blocks to 4E. That would be much less income for WotC.

Tren
2008-01-21, 02:56 PM
I agree with everything except one point


- WotC wants a standard, "Ye Olde Mediaeval Europe" high fantasy basic setting for 4E.

I think if that were really the case they'd have gone that route with the core setting. Everything they've done has for the most part been very contrary to that, such as adding tieflings and dragonborn as core races and creating a new world with a very NON-traditional fantasy flavor. At points in C&R they make the statement that they want to the new edition to be more than classic European fantasy, and create something more "cosmopolitan."

Talya
2008-01-21, 03:04 PM
The high levels in faerun are too busy to handle every issue that comes up.

For example:

Elminster has his hands full in Shadowdale alone, and in the other planes he is constantly visiting.

Allustriel and The Simbul (Alasra) Silverhand run the day-to-day affairs of kingdoms. They aren't out engaging in spellbattles (although The Simbul does her best to decimate Thayans as often as possible.) Qilué has her hands full with Lolth.

Waterdeep kept Kelben Blackstaff Arunsun busy in life, I'm sure it will keep him busy in death as well. His widow, Laeral is just as busy.

Dove Falconhand is a ranger, Storm Silverhand is a Bard, not exactly arcane powerhouses.

Syluné Silverhand got melted by a dragon.

Halaster Blackcloak is ****ing insane, and rarely leaves his little maze.


One could go on...

hamishspence
2008-01-21, 03:12 PM
yes,very few statted non-casters exist. one of the baddies in Mysteries of the Moonsea is a fighter, 20+ levels, Shurrupak EX-Chosen of Gilgeam was mostly fighter. Thats about it. Entreri and Drizzt are not really movers and shakers, for real ruling fighting types, look lower down the power spectrum, King Obould Many Arrows, Breunor Battlehammer, Helm, in Silver Marches.

mostlyharmful
2008-01-21, 03:34 PM
For those who want to know where it says that the arcane casters are the most powerful in FR its in the FRCS, page 27, "the mightiest mortals in faerun are wizards such as Elminster, Manshoon and Szass Tam." It was writen right into the realms that wizards were the most powerful.

And I always liked the realms being populated by powerful npcs, that the PCs weren't the be-all and end-all of the setting. It made it feel like a realistic fantasy world (oxymoronic I know) with believable problems and it's the one of the very few RPG settings I knew of that had that. PCs had to focus their actions on getting what they want in a world where things are dangerous, their actions will always have consequnces and the plots they foil are mostly on the local scale instead of the planer one.

Well not anymore it seems, now the realms will be populated solely by "generic peasent number whatever" and countries will be completely without any competent people. The PCs will turn into freakish superbeings and overpowered monsters will inexplicably leap out of the woodwork only when the players can handle them. Hidden societies and lurking terrors will wait patiently to be confrounted rather than massacre the pathetic surface races that stand no hope against them. Just like every other DnD world, and most worlds in other games. Sigh. Hoo Hum.:smallyuk:

Rutee
2008-01-21, 03:42 PM
The Open Lord of Waterdeep is a paladin. The kings of Cormyr have historically been warriors, and the current regent is a fighter. Various community leaders in the Dalelands tend to be rangers. Zhentil Keep is ruled by a cleric. Heaven forbid you find a wizard ruling any dwarven nations. In fact, the number of nations and city-states in Faerun that are ruled by wizards is observably smaller than the ones ruled by members of other classes, primarily fighters and paladins.

So it is an "observable fact" that wizards do not hold all the power in the Realms, hoo-hah about game mechanics notwithstanding.

I point out to you that "Political power" and "Combat power" are not necessarily the same thing. It should also be noted that, to my knowledge, the single most ludicrously powerful FR mortal is Elminster. A Wizard. I don't know who's right, but you're not addressing his point either way.

Edit: And yeah, no, you lost that point. It seems to have been demonstrated that casters were the /real/ power in the FR. Unsurprising, I suppose..

--------------

Another note on the main topic, I'm finding more and more trouble caring as I read more posts. This seems like when White Wolf finally went and killed its meta plot. I'm having a hard time seeing the bad with murderring all the people who will make the PCs rising to power nigh-impossible.

Edit: HAH! Another page added. Need to check that when I refresh.


Hidden societies and lurking terrors will wait patiently to be confrounted rather than massacre the pathetic surface races that stand no hope against them. Just like every other DnD world, and most worlds in other games. Sigh. Hoo Hum.
Actually, the oWoD had a world roughly similar to that, before the meta plot, /and it worked/. Of course, as much as Humanity was the bitch of the supernaturals, every supernatural type had some chronic weakness to something mortals have ready supply to (Vampires to fire, Changelings to Iron, Mages to Disbelief, etc), so if the war ever became truly obvious.... :P

Really, a world needs a balance. You need some powerful NPCs because yes, you need to establish why the PCs' antagonists aren't just outright conquerring the world while the PCs level up, but not so many that the PCs feel like they're useless errand boys. It's possible (See: Exalted), but it's difficult. I'll be interested in seeing how WotC handles it.

Morty
2008-01-21, 03:50 PM
Another note on the main topic, I'm finding more and more trouble caring as I read more posts. This seems like when White Wolf finally went and killed its meta plot. I'm having a hard time seeing the bad with murderring all the people who will make the PCs rising to power nigh-impossible.

Ummm... how, exactly, do powerful NPCs prevent PCs from raising to power? If someone doesn't want PCs to get powerful, it just creates an opportunity for PCs to fight him/her, which they can do if they're strong enough to gather his/her attention. I personally like when PCs aren't more powerful than 90% of the population as soon as they hit 10th level.

Rutee
2008-01-21, 03:55 PM
Ummm... how, exactly, do powerful NPCs prevent PCs from raising to power? If someone doesn't want PCs to get powerful, it just creates an opportunity for PCs to fight him/her, which they can do if they're strong enough to gather his/her attention. I personally like when PCs aren't more powerful than 90% of the population as soon as they hit 10th level.

Never played oWoD with the metaplot, I take it? It's pretty easy. I mean, hell, you have posts above from someone who's group is at epic levels and still feel like Elminsters' messenger boys.

Basically, you keep them down the entire time. You take "There's always a bigger fish in the sea" to its logical extreme, and the PCs never fight Big Bads. They're fighting a proxy of a proxy of a proxy, etc. IF they're lucky, they work for the real big cheese. You keep all the setting-changing, Phenomenal, cosmic power in the hands of the NPCs, in actuality, no matter what the combat stats of the PCs are. This is why there is no Sigil, as far as I'm concerned.

Talya
2008-01-21, 04:34 PM
Never played oWoD with the metaplot, I take it? It's pretty easy. I mean, hell, you have posts above from someone who's group is at epic levels and still feel like Elminsters' messenger boys.

Basically, you keep them down the entire time. You take "There's always a bigger fish in the sea" to its logical extreme, and the PCs never fight Big Bads. They're fighting a proxy of a proxy of a proxy, etc. IF they're lucky, they work for the real big cheese. You keep all the setting-changing, Phenomenal, cosmic power in the hands of the NPCs, in actuality, no matter what the combat stats of the PCs are. This is why there is no Sigil, as far as I'm concerned.


First of all, Elminster is officially a direct recipient of the power of Mystra, meaning he can weild the power of a Goddess when he needs to. He's almost an avatar. In actuallity, he's an Avatar of Ed Greenwood, meaning he's going to be "munchkin" (by plot, not by stats.) I'm not really opposed to NPCs of godlike power, because they're no different than actually having Gods in the campaign. If you want to run a campaign where the PCs eventually attain the most powerful place in the world, give them a divine rank above 20...see, the PCs in most premade campaign settings are not supposed to ever be the most powerful characters in existence...at that point, the game is pointless. You always need people more powerful than you are (preferably lots of them), barring running a divine campaign. If that weren't the case, your characters would be in the novels that they write. I like my campaigns to be part of something bigger, compatible with an existing world, not rewriting it.

Secondly, if you go specifically by stats, Elminster is a pushover. For his level, anyway. His CR is in the 40 range, but a level 25-30 wizard/archmage would be a match for him.

VanBuren
2008-01-21, 04:44 PM
First of all, Elminster is officially a direct recipient of the power of Mystra, meaning he can weild the power of a Goddess when he needs to. He's almost an avatar. In actuallity, he's an Avatar of Ed Greenwood, meaning he's going to be "munchkin" (by plot, not by stats.) I'm not really opposed to NPCs of godlike power, because they're no different than actually having Gods in the campaign. If you want to run a campaign where the PCs eventually attain the most powerful place in the world, give them a divine rank above 20...see, the PCs in most premade campaign settings are not supposed to ever be the most powerful characters in existence...at that point, the game is pointless. You always need people more powerful than you are (preferably lots of them), barring running a divine campaign. If that weren't the case, your characters would be in the novels that they write. I like my campaigns to be part of something bigger, compatible with an existing world, not rewriting it.

Secondly, if you go specifically by stats, Elminster is a pushover. For his level, anyway. His CR is in the 40 range, but a level 25-30 wizard/archmage would be a match for him.

Nah, Elminster would just sleep with a goddess and kill the archmage.

But seriously, isn't it ironic that the most Gary Stu of all NPCs is one of the few to survive the purge that enables PCs to have the influence?

Rutee
2008-01-21, 04:55 PM
First of all, Elminster is officially a direct recipient of the power of Mystra, meaning he can weild the power of a Goddess when he needs to. He's almost an avatar. In actuallity, he's an Avatar of Ed Greenwood, meaning he's going to be "munchkin" (by plot, not by stats.) I'm not really opposed to NPCs of godlike power, because they're no different than actually having Gods in the campaign.
Well, going by the most typical interpretation, it IS different. Gods don't usually intervene directly, and often, in an epic of mortals, in myth (Though Homer's works are a glaring contrast to this statement, I'll certainly grant..)


If you want to run a campaign where the PCs eventually attain the most powerful place in the world, give them a divine rank above 20...see, the PCs in most premade campaign settings are not supposed to ever be the most powerful characters in existence...at that point, the game is pointless.
You seem to be claiming a false dichotomy. I neither said you had to totally off all powerful NPCs (All-powerful ones, yes, /definitely/, but not all NPCs that have a measure of power and that can and will oppose the NPCs), nor that the PCs had to be the final, most powerful force in the campaign world all the time. I /did/ say that they really should get world-shaking power, (Preferably after the epic has gotten a little steam) but not that they need to be the only ones with it.


You always need people more powerful than you are (preferably lots of them), barring running a divine campaign. If that weren't the case, your characters would be in the novels that they write. I like my campaigns to be part of something bigger, compatible with an existing world, not rewriting it.
Well, taste is taste, and arguing that would be futile, but before I properly debate, can you explain what you mean by "Your characters would be in the novels that they write"? That phrase makes literally no sense to me, for some reason.


But seriously, isn't it ironic that the most Gary Stu of all NPCs is one of the few to survive the purge that enables PCs to have the influence?
It's not ironic, just stupid and unfortunate >.<

Drascin
2008-01-21, 04:56 PM
wasn't there something to explain why the High Level NPCs rarely did anything? The whole "Cold Caster War" thing? The fact that if all the high level guys started fighting, the world would be destroyed, so there was a kind of informal truce not to meddle in other's affairs too closely or actively.

I thought there was some sort of short Elminstar speech on the subject.

And that's exactly what I meant by "cosmic chess game". Basically, the only reason they're not solving things is because they're playing the stall game, and the PCs are nothing but their pawns. Maybe even their bishops, if they're good. But still nothing more than pieces who they direct discreetly to avoid miffing up other powers. Being a minion is not, and more importantly, doesn't feel, the same as being a true hero

And even then, that speech I always found somewhat difficult to believe. It just... doesn't seem that believable that either side would be that inclined to said stall game, knowing the personalities of most of the participants.

Talya
2008-01-21, 05:38 PM
You seem to be claiming a false dichotomy. I neither said you had to totally off all powerful NPCs (All-powerful ones, yes, /definitely/, but not all NPCs that have a measure of power and that can and will oppose the NPCs), nor that the PCs had to be the final, most powerful force in the campaign world all the time. I /did/ say that they really should get world-shaking power, (Preferably after the epic has gotten a little steam) but not that they need to be the only ones with it.

Epic PCs in Faerun would easily carve out a kingdom of their own if they chose, so long as they picked the right area to carve out. (Which is easy...there are entire continents on Aebir-Toril that are wild or untamed, or unfleshed out by the writers, and most kingdoms that are currently ruled by low-to-mid level NPCs...but I'm not really a fan of that kind of campaign. Notice there are no 3.5 epic rules (the Epic Handbook was 3.0) ...while balance is lacking from mid-levels on to start with, it's utterly nonexistent at epic levels. Heck, even at levels 12-20 you've long-since abandoned any sense of balance. And if you do actually run epic, even the old bastard Elminster is only level 40...and a level 30 wizard/archmage, without plot contrivances, would utterly destroy him in a spell-duel.



can you explain what you mean by "Your characters would be in the novels that they write"? That phrase makes literally no sense to me, for some reason.

I like my campaigns to fit into the running metaplot of the campaign setting without conflicting with it. (And I like that metaplot to be very detailed and elaborate.) FR has more books written in it than any other setting (other than possibly dragonlance, and it might have passed even that by now.) If your characters were actually powerful enough to mess with the landscape and kill iconics, you'd effectively end up in an "alternate universe," as the running storylines and books from that campaign would no longer make any sense, your characters and their actions would have massively changed the setting.



It's not ironic, just stupid and unfortunate >.<
Yes, but that wasn't me who called it ironic. (I know you didn't attribute it to me, but the rest of the quotes were mine, and you didn't put a name on that one.)

Fhaolan
2008-01-21, 05:53 PM
Except the Forgotten Realms isn't just a campaign setting. It's a story setting. They're taking the characters we've been following and getting attached to for years and just killing them all off. It's equivalent to ...take your favorite TV show or series of books or movies. Let's say the writers decided to just kill off 90% of the characters and totally rework the idea of the series from fantasy to sci-fi or similar (since that's practically happening in FR.) Would it bother you?

They are not advancing the timeline far enough to do that. If it were ten thousand years later, that'd be different...but not like this.

Like cancelling a TV show when they had run out of viable plots for the characters, and then making another TV series based off the previous, but set a hundred years further down the timeline, or maybe in another galaxy, so they could rehash the old plots and open up new plots with new characters. Yeah, nobody would *ever* make money doing anything like that.... :smallsmile:

FR is worn out. There's nothing left for Hasbro to produce for it. So, you've got two choices. Dump it, or reboot it.

Hasbro decided to reboot it. Personally, I would have dumped it and built a new setting, but I don't run store-bought campaigns unless I'm asked to do so by my players anyway, so I'm biased. I assume Hasbro's marketing department did several blind surveys and decided the pull of the FR brand name was enough to overcome the automatic grognard 'Back in my day, we walked to our FR game in the snow, up hill, both ways' problem. If I was to hazard a guess, the blind surveys were taken during RPGA Living Grayhawk tourneys and GenCon several years back. Long enough ago that most people wouldn't remember or make the connection now.

Rutee
2008-01-21, 06:37 PM
Epic PCs in Faerun would easily carve out a kingdom of their own if they chose, so long as they picked the right area to carve out. (Which is easy...there are entire continents on Aebir-Toril that are wild or untamed, or unfleshed out by the writers, and most kingdoms that are currently ruled by low-to-mid level NPCs...but I'm not really a fan of that kind of campaign. Notice there are no 3.5 epic rules (the Epic Handbook was 3.0) ...while balance is lacking from mid-levels on to start with, it's utterly nonexistent at epic levels. Heck, even at levels 12-20 you've long-since abandoned any sense of balance. And if you do actually run epic, even the old bastard Elminster is only level 40...and a level 30 wizard/archmage, without plot contrivances, would utterly destroy him in a spell-duel.
What we have here is a failure to communicate. I couldn't care less about Epic Levels as such. The rules for them are terrible anyway. I care about epic, the word, and what it means. A heroic tale, of majestic, great, and terrible characters. DnD balance doesn't mean two whits to me; I haven't played with people specifically out to break the games they were playing in a while, and who have the good sense to try not to step on people's toes. Most of what you've said is balance-based, really, it's not what I'm talking about at all. I'm speaking entirely from a narrative perspective, and in general, I'm trying to stick to system-neutral notes. And specifically related to DnD, I don't think Epic Levels (tm) are a requisite to telling an epic. I feel my favorite DnD levels are the early to mid teens. Core stuff isn't too retarded that you can't possibly avoid abusing it, and you have enough power that the PC party is a force to be reckoned with (Nor are you gods unto yourselves) if you're not in one of these settings who have ridiculous numbers of higher levels.


I like my campaigns to fit into the running metaplot of the campaign setting without conflicting with it. (And I like that metaplot to be very detailed and elaborate.) FR has more books written in it than any other setting (other than possibly dragonlance, and it might have passed even that by now.) If your characters were actually powerful enough to mess with the landscape and kill iconics, you'd effectively end up in an "alternate universe," as the running storylines and books from that campaign would no longer make any sense, your characters and their actions would have massively changed the setting.
Good! In no sense can you make any claim to have an epic (Which I recognize is not everyone's taste, as you most eloquently shown) if you can not effect massive changes on the setting world. Not necessarily the changes you want (You may stir up a war with the neighborring, oppressive regime, for instance, but you might /lose/, with your homeland falling under their rule. Massive changes initiated by you? Yes. The ones your PCs want? Probably not. Interesting narratively? I damn well hope so!) Further, I genuinely do not understand the purpose of a metaplot at all, aside from to sell more books. The only thing that I can think of that can ruin a narrative quicker then repeated railroading by the GM is repeated railroading by someone who has never met you, or your players, and doesn't care about your game in the least.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-21, 06:37 PM
Amen. FR's thoroughly detailed background and history is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand I love the variety and detail of individual nations, even cities, and the history and fallen empires that go with it. On the other hand, the presence of so many highly active semi-phenomenal nearly cosmic NPCs makes anything the players do seem diminished, even if these NPCs aren't involved. There's always somebody else who could have done it, done it better, and done it faster, they were just way too busy already. You as characters aren't really unique. There are hundreds if not thousands of people in FR that are as powerful or more powerful than you, and I feel like that diminishes the sense of heroism that makes this game fun.
Really? It makes you feel less heroic to know that there are other people who are as powerful as your character if not more so?

Frankly, I think this sense of entitlement is silly. Nowhere in the game does it say that the players should be playing the most powerful people in the world. First off, it's just ludicrous that your characters should all, every one, be forging ahead to heights of power that none before have dreamed of, in every single game; it would rapidly cease to be special if that were so. It would also rapidly break verisimilitude because of the second point:

Secondly, if the PCs are the most powerful individuals in the world, who's to challenge them? Yes, yes, I know the bad guys and monsters, but what about the rest of the world? In a world full of dragons, giants, demons, devils, orc warlords, and evil necromancers, do you really think that there's no one in the world except you that can deal with it? Everywhere your characters are not would be wiped out in short order by these horrific threats. Not to mention that the PCs could get it into their heads to take over the world, and there'd be no one with the ability to stop them. Thinking that you can freely defy the town guard and the king just because you've hit mid-level should be a dangerous thing.

So really, why shouldn't there be powerful NPCs?

Rutee
2008-01-21, 06:45 PM
Really? It makes you feel less heroic to know that there are other people who are as powerful as your character if not more so?

Frankly, I think this sense of entitlement is silly. Nowhere in the game does it say that the players should be playing the most powerful people in the world. First off, it's just ludicrous that your characters should all, every one, be forging ahead to heights of power that none before have dreamed of, in every single game; it would rapidly cease to be special if that were so. It would also rapidly break verisimilitude because of the second point:

Secondly, if the PCs are the most powerful individuals in the world, who's to challenge them? Yes, yes, I know the bad guys and monsters, but what about the rest of the world? In a world full of dragons, giants, demons, devils, orc warlords, and evil necromancers, do you really think that there's no one in the world except you that can deal with it? Everywhere your characters are not would be wiped out in short order by these horrific threats. Not to mention that the PCs could get it into their heads to take over the world, and there'd be no one with the ability to stop them. Thinking that you can freely defy the town guard and the king just because you've hit mid-level should be a dangerous thing.

So really, why shouldn't there be powerful NPCs?
This entire post is predicated on a false dichotomy of "Perpetual Bitch" and "Uncontested Master of the Universe". There is a middle ground between remaining a pawn in some cosmic chess game for the entire game, and being some mystical fusion of Herakles, Gilgamesh, King Arthur, and the Yellow Emperor fighting a red shirt army.

Tren
2008-01-21, 06:58 PM
I'd respond but Rutee already did better than I possibly could.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-21, 07:06 PM
I have to say that I am actually looking forward to a reboot of the realms. I will miss Helm for sure, as I have had many characters that have followed his guidance. Other than that I am happy they are getting rid of the rest of the high level characters that seem to be around every corner of the realms.

The reason for this is that I believe that when a character reaches epic levels (basically 18+), he should be able to shape the world around him. With a world full of equal powered characters this is not possible, but if the most powerful person you are going to meet in a city is going to be around 12th level then you will be able to command respect or fear from those around you.
Well too bad. You want to run the world, you have to deal with the people who currently run it, and they wouldn't be currently running it if they were pushovers for every high-level puke who came along.
This entire post is predicated on a false dichotomy of "Perpetual Bitch" and "Uncontested Master of the Universe". There is a middle ground between remaining a pawn in some cosmic chess game for the entire game, and being some mystical fusion of Herakles, Gilgamesh, King Arthur, and the Yellow Emperor fighting a red shirt army.
This would be true if that wasn't exactly what Tren said: That he felt less heroic because there were powerful NPCs running around. Now I don't know about you, but I have never, as a player or DM, had Elminster telling the party what to do, and in fact such behavior is completely contrary to his established personality. Actually, we've just never run into him at all. There's loads of stuff to do that doesn't involve the epic NPCs or even involve said epic NPCs meddling in the characters' affairs.

Rutee
2008-01-21, 07:18 PM
This would be true if that wasn't exactly what Tren said: That he felt less heroic because there were powerful NPCs running around. Now I don't know about you, but I have never, as a player or DM, had Elminster telling the party what to do, and in fact such behavior is completely contrary to his established personality. Actually, we've just never run into him at all. There's loads of stuff to do that doesn't involve the epic NPCs or even involve said epic NPCs meddling in the characters' affairs.
The Forgotten Realms don't just have powerful NPCs. They have walking deus ex machina running amok. And a metaplot, which to follow, means you must make the important metaplot people into UBer gods of untouchability. In a vacuum, you would be correct, but the center of the discussion is the FR, if I'm not mistaken. True, you may not follow metaplot, but it seems like the FR is full of Epic Level ubergods who you have to be Epic Level to contest their will, frankly. Maybe I just have a rotten taste after what I saw in BG, but I never botherred with it after that.

Edit:
Specifically..

Amen. FR's thoroughly detailed background and history is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand I love the variety and detail of individual nations, even cities, and the history and fallen empires that go with it. On the other hand, the presence of so many highly active semi-phenomenal nearly cosmic NPCs makes anything the players do seem diminished, even if these NPCs aren't involved. There's always somebody else who could have done it, done it better, and done it faster, they were just way too busy already. You as characters aren't really unique. There are hundreds if not thousands of people in FR that are as powerful or more powerful than you, and I feel like that diminishes the sense of heroism that makes this game fun.
This is not "OMG there are other people to contest my will". This is being irritation about being a /speck of dust/. Tren's post does, in fact, not portray a false dichotomy.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-21, 07:42 PM
The Forgotten Realms don't just have powerful NPCs. They have walking deus ex machina running amok. And a metaplot, which to follow, means you must make the important metaplot people into UBer gods of untouchability. In a vacuum, you would be correct, but the center of the discussion is the FR, if I'm not mistaken. True, you may not follow metaplot, but it seems like the FR is full of Epic Level ubergods who you have to be Epic Level to contest their will, frankly. Maybe I just have a rotten taste after what I saw in BG, but I never botherred with it after that.
I'm sorry, complaining that:
There's always somebody else who could have done it, done it better, and done it faster, they were just way too busy already.
Is exactly what prompted the post you're so ardently criticizing. I'm sorry, but if he doesn't expect there to be other people who could also do the task if they weren't doing something else then it does in fact follow that he expects there to be no one else as powerful as the PCs, because if that wasn't his problem, then he wouldn't say it was.

EvilElitest
2008-01-21, 07:49 PM
The Forgotten Realms don't just have powerful NPCs. They have walking deus ex machina running amok. And a metaplot, which to follow, means you must make the important metaplot people into UBer gods of untouchability. In a vacuum, you would be correct, but the center of the discussion is the FR, if I'm not mistaken. True, you may not follow metaplot, but it seems like the FR is full of Epic Level ubergods who you have to be Epic Level to contest their will, frankly. Maybe I just have a rotten taste after what I saw in BG, but I never botherred with it after that.

Most of those NPCs spend their time doing their own things. FR is a realistically big place, there are plenty of places for them to be


Elminister? Often off fighting far more powerful beings. Blackstaff? Running Waterdeep. Most of the gods? Doing their own things. Drizzt? Fighting a war in a mountain at current
By BG do you mean Baldur's gate?


Edit:
Specifically..

This is not "OMG there are other people to contest my will". This is being irritation about being a /speck of dust/. Tren's post does, in fact, not portray a false dichotomy.

Not really. I mean at all. Your character is normally just another player, and is as big as he makes himself. Its a pretty big freaking world, with plenty to fight at your level while still feeling like your in a realistic world
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Rutee
2008-01-21, 07:49 PM
I find that generally, what people say first sets context for the remainder of their argument.


On the other hand, the presence of so many highly active semi-phenomenal nearly cosmic NPCs makes anything the players do seem diminished, even if these NPCs aren't involved.
He's not talking about "Other people being more powerful then you", in this context. He's talking about "People who make you look ridiculously weak and just can't be botherred to do this trivial, to them, task they set before you". I /think/. Care to clarify, Tren?

Rutee
2008-01-21, 07:53 PM
Most of those NPCs spend their time doing their own things. FR is a realistically big place, there are plenty of places for them to be


Elminister? Often off fighting far more powerful beings. Blackstaff? Running Waterdeep. Most of the gods? Doing their own things. Drizzt? Fighting a war in a mountain at current
By BG do you mean Baldur's gate?
If they're the ones advancing the metaplot, I find it highly suspect that they're 'off doing their own thing'.

Talya
2008-01-21, 08:05 PM
Good! In no sense can you make any claim to have an epic (Which I recognize is not everyone's taste, as you most eloquently shown) if you can not effect massive changes on the setting world. Not necessarily the changes you want (You may stir up a war with the neighborring, oppressive regime, for instance, but you might /lose/, with your homeland falling under their rule. Massive changes initiated by you? Yes. The ones your PCs want? Probably not. Interesting narratively? I damn well hope so!) Further, I genuinely do not understand the purpose of a metaplot at all, aside from to sell more books. The only thing that I can think of that can ruin a narrative quicker then repeated railroading by the GM is repeated railroading by someone who has never met you, or your players, and doesn't care about your game in the least.


Did you ever play WestEnd Games d6 Star Wars?

Probably once of the best designed set of rules ever, (despite needing a crapload of D6's to play it.) The setting? Somewhere between Star Wars Ep.4 and Return of the Jedi.

The characters? A bunch of mostly non-force using nobodies...who were nonetheless far superior to the stormtroopers that the empire would send your way. You were generally republic peons...infantry, smugglers, pirates, pilots, etc. At no point were you ever in a position to overthrow the empire or beat Darth Vader in a duel. That wasn't the point of the game. The epic metaplot of the movies was taking place in the background. Did anyone complain? No...there were plenty of fascinating and epic stories to be told outside that metaplot, that could make you still feel like you are a part of that metaplot, without changing. Any decent DM can do the same in FR. Metaplot is a very good thing....especially if the players know it (or parts of it.) They make the campaign setting and world seem so much more real, they make the players feel like they are part of something bigger and not just ....well, giants in a playground, to quote John Sheridan. The PCs can feel epic and important without having the campaign world revolve around them. Star Wars managed this because, well, a galaxy is huge. Hundreds of billions of stars, even more planets. Saving a planet is "epic" enough for anyone, yet is an inconsequential event in the grand scheme of the metaplot. Thing is, in star wars, a hundred billion worlds is still smaller when you can hyperdrive across the galaxy in a few weeks, than a single world is in a fantasy setting (teleport notwithstanding.) Faerun is the largest published campaign setting I've ever played in, in any genre, in that it has more well-developed places, people and legend than any of them. And the characters and storylines in Faerun are mostly more interesting and better than anything George Lucas has ever been able to come up with. (But then, a bunch of game developers in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada took George Lucas's setting and created a bunch of more interesting characters and a better story than anything he ever told, and stuck it in a video game, so I suppose that's not saying much.)

EvilElitest
2008-01-21, 08:18 PM
FR is worn out. There's nothing left for Hasbro to produce for it. So, you've got two choices. Dump it, or reboot it.


Umm, there are three (at least) whole contents still only barely covered (arab based world, Japan based world, Native American based world) as well as whole lands in Farun proper still underdeveloped. Hell, many gods, groups, NPCs, cities, and monsters still don't have proper development and history is still moving on
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Renegade Paladin
2008-01-21, 08:22 PM
If they're the ones advancing the metaplot, I find it highly suspect that they're 'off doing their own thing'.
Oh, come on. "Their own thing" is the metaplot. In fact, what decent DM that runs serial campaigns (as opposed to a bunch of one-shots) doesn't have a metaplot of some kind, even if he's using his own setting? Things happen in the world independent of the PCs, and sometimes they're big things. That's all a metaplot is. Without one, the world is sterile, static, and utterly predictable, since the only changes that will come about come as a direct result of what the PCs do.

EvilElitest
2008-01-21, 08:46 PM
Oh, come on. "Their own thing" is the metaplot. In fact, what decent DM that runs serial campaigns (as opposed to a bunch of one-shots) doesn't have a metaplot of some kind, even if he's using his own setting? Things happen in the world independent of the PCs, and sometimes they're big things. That's all a metaplot is. Without one, the world is sterile, static, and utterly predictable, since the only changes that will come about come as a direct result of what the PCs do.

At best you have legend of zelda
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Reinboom
2008-01-21, 08:51 PM
At best you have legend of zelda
from
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Please excuse Majora's Mask from that statement.
:smalltongue:

This is kind of bothersome that they are cruelly defiling a setting that I enjoy only due to the applied history in it...

Though, personally, I've always wanted to just update some older things to current rules sets... why can't a company just do that for once? I want to play in the old nether realms, damn it! :smalltongue:

EvilElitest
2008-01-21, 08:53 PM
Please excuse Majora's Mask from that statement.
:smalltongue:

touche, i stand corrected




Though, personally, I've always wanted to just update some older things to current rules sets... why can't a company just do that for once? I want to play in the old nether realms, damn it! :smalltongue:
Yeah, like Karu-Tue
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Fhaolan
2008-01-21, 09:12 PM
Umm, there are three (at least) whole contents still only barely covered (arab based world, Japan based world, Native American based world) as well as whole lands in Farun proper still underdeveloped. Hell, many gods, groups, NPCs, cities, and monsters still don't have proper development and history is still moving on
from
EE

True.

Unfortunately Mazteca, Al-Qadim, and Kara-Tur suppliments sold *very* badly the last time they were pushed by TSR. So very badly it put a stink on any chance of publishing further stuff in those lines. I think there might have been a chance to pull it out of the toilet with some very good suppliment writing, but past history has put a very strong bias against non-Faerun lines.

And given how those lines were recieved, any chance of development of the African and Australian-equivalent lands that are mentioned in passing in other books/suppliment is just laughable. A small independant publisher might take that kind of risk, but Hasbro? Nah.

As for detailed suppliments for Faerun proper, it's the law of diminishing returns. If a thousand people buy the core rulebooks, and a hundred buy a campaign setting, ten will buy suppliments for the core regions, and one obsessive collector will buy a suppliment for a specific city. There comes a point where it's just not worth publishing, given that smaller print runs cost as much as the bigger print runs. They were better off with the environment splatbooks like Frostburn which could be fit into any campaign world with a minimal of alteration.

For some bizzare reason, lots of gamers think there's money to be made with campaign suppliments and modules. And every time the D&D publishers start believing it too, they loose money hand over fist. There's a reason that 75% or more of all those d20 independant module publishers go out of business within a year. It takes vicious and aggressive marketing to make money on what amounts to pamphlet publishing.

EvilElitest
2008-01-21, 09:16 PM
True.

Unfortunately Mazteca, Al-Qadim, and Kara-Tur suppliments sold *very* badly the last time they were pushed by TSR. So very badly it put a stink on any chance of publishing further stuff in those lines. I think there might have been a chance to pull it out of the toilet with some very good suppliment writing, but past history has put a very strong bias against non-Faerun lines.

And given how those lines were recieved, any chance of development of the African and Australian-equivalent lands that are mentioned in passing in other books/suppliment is just laughable. A small independant publisher might take that kind of risk, but Hasbro? Nah.

As for detailed suppliments for Faerun proper, it's the law of diminishing returns. If a thousand people buy the core rulebooks, and a hundred buy a campaign setting, ten will buy suppliments for the core regions, and one obsessive collector will buy a suppliment for a specific city. There comes a point where it's just not worth publishing, given that smaller print runs cost as much as the bigger print runs. They were better off with the environment splatbooks like Frostburn which could be fit into any campaign world with a minimal of alteration.

For some bizzare reason, lots of gamers think there's money to be made with campaign suppliments and modules. And every time the D&D publishers start believing it too, they loose money hand over fist. There's a reason that 75% or more of all those d20 independant module publishers go out of business within a year. It takes vicious and aggressive marketing to make money on what amounts to pamphlet publishing.

Why is that? I've bought all of the arab/Japan worlds, as they are really cool.

Also hasn't wotc been publishing city stuff for a while


Though even if that didn't work, thy could do "Cultures and customs" for all the FR races or something like that
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Matthew
2008-01-21, 09:23 PM
Many reasons. Fhaolan is right, though, settings fragment the audience, can't be sold to players and don't market well. That was one of Wizard's big 'don't do this, it sunk TSR' things.

ZekeArgo
2008-01-21, 09:23 PM
Why is that? I've bought all of the arab/Japan worlds, as they are really cool.

Also hasn't wotc been publishing city stuff for a while


Though even if that didn't work, thy could do "Cultures and customs" for all the FR races or something like that
from
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You, an individual, might have, the "one obsessive fan" in Fhaolan's example. But did your friends buy it? Did everyone at the game store just have to grab those suppliments?

Why are you going to buy a races book for forgotten realms elves/halflings when theres already races of the wild... which has information for forgotten realms elves/halflings?

There just isn't any new, solid information that they could put out that a vast majority of people would be interested in. 3.X has reached critical mass, simple as that.

EvilElitest
2008-01-21, 09:34 PM
You, an individual, might have, the "one obsessive fan" in Fhaolan's example. But did your friends buy it? Did everyone at the game store just have to grab those suppliments?

Why are you going to buy a races book for forgotten realms elves/halflings when theres already races of the wild... which has information for forgotten realms elves/halflings?

There just isn't any new, solid information that they could put out that a vast majority of people would be interested in. 3.X has reached critical mass, simple as that.

1. My friends did buy it as a matter of fact, but it was half off
2. My point remains, why is their such little interest in the arab/oriental fantasy?
3. A cultural book would focus upon FR cultures, not normal D&D by making them distinctly different. Personally i don't like races of wild/stone's interpretation, so could WOTC squeeze more money out by doing unique cultures or none standard races?
4. Ok then, history. Just hire a bunch of authors to write about advancing its history normally, discover a new land, devolp new cites that sort of thing? Not wipe the entire know and loved realm off the map
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Tren
2008-01-21, 10:37 PM
I stick to my previous statement; I'd respond but Rutee already said it better.

I think Rutee explained my post pretty well. That said, I think my statement was fairly explicit unless you're intentionally taking it out of context, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't use my statements to make a strawman argument. I have an issue with the immense number of Epic (or at least 15+) NPCs in FR, and that no matter where you go you're operating in some Super-Wizard's domain. It's not fun for me to perpetually sit in Generic Super-Wizard #X's shadow. That said I think it helps the verisimilitude of a setting to have a limited number of high-powered individuals who are too busy maintaining the Cosmic Balance(TM) to take care of everything, but when you literally have dozens and dozens who all miraculously happen to be too busy to stop the invading orc army, that's just contrived.

Talya
2008-01-21, 10:43 PM
I stick to my previous statement; I'd respond but Rutee already said it better.

I think Rutee explained my post pretty well. That said, I think my statement was fairly explicit unless you're intentionally taking it out of context, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't use my statements to make a strawman argument. I have an issue with the immense number of Epic (or at least 15+) NPCs in FR, and that no matter where you go you're operating in some Super-Wizard's domain. It's not fun for me to perpetually sit in Generic Super-Wizard #X's shadow. That said I think it helps the verisimilitude of a setting to have a limited number of high-powered individuals who are too busy maintaining the Cosmic Balance(TM) to take care of everything, but when you literally have dozens and dozens who all miraculously happen to be too busy to stop the invading orc army, that's just contrived.

I only know of six wizards in faerun currently alive over level 15, actually. (There are likely more, but they aren't prominent enough to remember)...Elminster, Alustriel Silverhand, Laeral Arunsun, Szass Tam (an opponent for players), Halaster Blackcloak (an opponent for players) and Gromph Baenre (an opponent for players). Recently there was also Khelben Blackstaff (deceased.) If you count sorcerers, there is also The Simbul.

For non-wizards/sorcerors, you also have:

Storm Silverhand, Qilue Veladorn, Dove Falconhand, Fzoul Chembryl, Drizzt Du'orden, Jarlaxle Baenre, Triel Baenre, Quenthel Baenre, Artemis Entreri, Dove Falconhand, possibly a few more. Of those, half are encounters to be defeated (likely by escaping them rather than killing them.) There's quite a number of named dragons that would qualify as well, but...really, if there wasn't a lot of bad guys that could challenge you at high levels, there wouldn't be anything to do, would there?

EvilElitest
2008-01-21, 10:44 PM
I stick to my previous statement; I'd respond but Rutee already said it better.

I think Rutee explained my post pretty well. That said, I think my statement was fairly explicit unless you're intentionally taking it out of context, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't use my statements to make a strawman argument. I have an issue with the immense number of Epic (or at least 15+) NPCs in FR, and that no matter where you go you're operating in some Super-Wizard's domain. It's not fun for me to perpetually sit in Generic Super-Wizard #X's shadow. That said I think it helps the verisimilitude of a setting to have a limited number of high-powered individuals who are too busy maintaining the Cosmic Balance(TM) to take care of everything, but when you literally have dozens and dozens who all miraculously happen to be too busy to stop the invading orc army, that's just contrived.

But that isn't true, you can go plenty of places without epic NPCs and there really aren't that many super wizard domains. It just isn't that true
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Tren
2008-01-21, 10:55 PM
Admittedly that may be a bit of hyperbole, but if you take into account the wizards/sorcerers, clerics, and non-caster characters you have a sizeable number of shakers and movers covering a large portion of the realms.

CASTLEMIKE
2008-01-21, 11:02 PM
True.

Unfortunately Mazteca, Al-Qadim, and Kara-Tur suppliments sold *very* badly the last time they were pushed by TSR. So very badly it put a stink on any chance of publishing further stuff in those lines. I think there might have been a chance to pull it out of the toilet with some very good suppliment writing, but past history has put a very strong bias against non-Faerun lines.

For some bizzare reason, lots of gamers think there's money to be made with campaign suppliments and modules. And every time the D&D publishers start believing it too, they loose money hand over fist. There's a reason that 75% or more of all those d20 independant module publishers go out of business within a year. It takes vicious and aggressive marketing to make money on what amounts to pamphlet publishing.

Regarding the first Al-Qadim was profitable and doing the best of the three brands. IMO WOTC dropped the ball as Mazteca, Kara Tur and Al Qadim should have been incorporated with an occassional source book like an update to the current time lines under the FRCS franchise but they have a very poor track record regarding supporting prior settings.

Regarding the second I disagree if there isn't money to be made churning out campaign supplement after campaign supplement and modules why does WOTC continue to do it?

Here's the thing with a campaign source book update WOTC isn't reinventing the wheel just polishing it off and updating. It's a nice way to entice former customers and current customers to checking out current and older material. A setting source book is good for several years. Make a printing and make another with demand. FRCS is usually in the top 25 at Amazon for sales on a regular basis.

You can still find good 2E material in the Amazon D&D Top 100.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-21, 11:12 PM
Admittedly that may be a bit of hyperbole, but if you take into account the wizards/sorcerers, clerics, and non-caster characters you have a sizeable number of shakers and movers covering a large portion of the realms.
And? There will be movers and shakers everywhere you look; if the rulers of nations were not at least moderately high level, they would not be able to maintain their thrones.

That said, if you're looking for someplace to adventure that doesn't have high-level NPCs to get in your way, I recommend the Dalelands (excluding Shadowdale), the Border Kingdoms (adventurers carve out demesnes all the time in there; however, they're overthrown just as quickly by more adventurers; they explicitly don't bother trying to catalogue the place because it's canonically in flux all the time), the Dragon Coast (there are high-level NPCs there, but they're universally of the evil variety expressly intended to oppose the characters and presumably be eventually defeated), Impiltur, the Vast, Turmish, the Shaar, Chult, the Moonsea, Dambrath... The list goes on and on. The truly powerful good-aligned movers and shakers tend to be concentrated in the Sword Coast North, the Silver Marches, and in Shadowdale. Granted, those are the most detailed (and hence most popular) adventure locations in the Realms, but if you're looking to make a part of the Realms your own, you want to do it with one of the lesser-known parts anyway; you're less likely to get stiff opposition that way.

Woot Spitum
2008-01-22, 01:07 AM
And? There will be movers and shakers everywhere you look; if the rulers of nations were not at least moderately high level, they would not be able to maintain their thrones.I disagree. Ability to successfully rule a kingdom should not depend on combat prowess or ultra high skill ranks. If epic-level NPC's are the only thing that keeps your players from going crazy and slaughtering anyone that disagrees with them simply because they can, then you have a much bigger problem, one that high-level NPC's will only delay rather than solve outright. Level and even stats should not play a big role in PC-NPC interactions, and if the PC's aren't constantly picking fights with everyone they meet on the street, they won't.

Hallavast
2008-01-22, 01:16 AM
I disagree. Ability to successfully rule a kingdom should not depend on combat prowess or ultra high skill ranks. If epic-level NPC's are the only thing that keeps your players from going crazy and slaughtering anyone that disagrees with them simply because they can, then you have a much bigger problem, one that high-level NPC's will only delay rather than solve outright. Level and even stats should not play a big role in PC-NPC interactions, and if the PC's aren't constantly picking fights with everyone they meet on the street, they won't.

Wait. Are you saying there's something wrong with roleplaying as a bunch of sociopaths? :smallconfused:

Replace "going crazy and slaughtering anyone that disagrees with them simply because they can" with "starting a 4 man crusade to bring the entire kingdom under their thumbs" and I think you'll see where a few problems might emerge. :smallwink:

Fhaolan
2008-01-22, 01:28 AM
Regarding the first Al-Qadim was profitable and doing the best of the three brands. IMO WOTC dropped the ball as Mazteca, Kara Tur and Al Qadim should have been incorporated with an occassional source book like an update to te current time lines under the FRCS franchise but they have a very poor track record regarding supporting prior settings

Regarding the second I disagree if there isn't money to be made churning out campaign supplement after campaign supplement and modules why does WOTC continue to do it?

I was under the impression that Kara-Tur was better than Al-Qadim, but then Kara-Tur had already been basically dropped by TSR before Al-Qadim was released, so it's hard for me to tell. Mazteca was poorly supported right out of the gate.

Let's look at some statistics. I have a collection of modules all the way from the beginning of D&D. I've bought nearly everything that TSR/WotC has produced for D&D, because I've got a strange collector bug. There are some I don't have because they were only available to RPGA members and at certain conventions that I was unable to attend, but what I do have should be enough for some statistics. I've used the term 'Generic' as meaning that a specific campaign setting has not been called out on the cover. Module means a pamphlet-style adventure or boxed adventure, while Supplement means a non-adventure campaign supplement including the original campaign setting. I'm not entirely sure if I should count Frostburn and the other environmental splatbooks as 'Campaign Supplements' or not, but I have, and put them under the 'Miscellaneous' category along with Blackmoor, Council of Wyrms, and others of the like that only ever had one supplement published. Mazteca was always published under the FR banner, unlike Al-Qadim and Kara-Tur, so I haven't pulled them out into their own category. I also have not included all those strange Dragonlance 'Saga Edition' things, as they don't fall into any edition in a way I understand.

{table]|D&D||AD&D (1st edition)||AD&D (2nd edition)||D&D (3rd edition)|
Campaigns|Modules|Supplements|Modules|Supplements| Modules|Supplements|Modules|Supplements
Generic|78||89||56||100|
Mystera||20|||4|5||
Hollow World|3|5||||||
Greyhawk||1|4|5|19|12|4|2
Forgotten Realms|||4|10|38|73|5|21
Kara-Tur|||5||3|1||
Al-Qadim|||||1|12||
Dragonlance|||19|4|16|8||3
DarkSun|||||10|19||
Planescape|||||13|13||
Ravenloft|||||33|15||
SpellJammer|||||6|13||
Birthright|||||7|27||
Lanhkmar|||2|1|5|5||
Eberron|||||||5|13
Miscellaneous||1||||8||10
SubTotal|81|27|123|20|211|211|114|40
Total||108||143||422||163
[/table]

Now that I look at these statistics, I'm not entirely sure what they prove, but they might be interesting to everyone. WotC has published a *lot* more modules than I remembered, so my assumptions around that have been wrong. However, very few of these modules or supplements were branded into specific campaign worlds, unlike 2nd edition. And the total number of modules and supplements is fairly close to D&D and AD&D (1st edition). 2nd Edition is what killed TSR, so its insane level of modules/supplements/campaign settings should be no surprise to anyone.

EDIT: I'm sorry EE, I missed answering your question. Why is there so little interest in Arab/Oriental campaign suppliments? Well, to be absolutely honest there is a market for them, but politics has reared it's ugly head. WotC decided to not compete with Lot5R with respect to the d20 Oriental campaign market, which was probably a good choice on their part even though it created a Kara-Tur vacuum in 3rd edition. And there was some brand confusion between the Al-Qadim and the pre-existing middle-eastern-like regions in the Forgotten Realms like Calimport and the like. Add in a rather nasty surge of PC 'How dare you caucasians write about non-European cultures in such a condensending way!' feedback that TSR got when they published Al-Qadim and Mazteca... it sorta killed any ambition in that area. WotC might try again, but they had to wait for enough buffer time to pass. With 4th edition, and with FR being pushed by RPGA as the new Living Campaign, there might be enough political will to try again.

horseboy
2008-01-22, 02:42 AM
Mazteca failed because it was so poorly written. That trilogy almost made me stop reading FR titles all together.



Never played oWoD with the metaplot, I take it? It's pretty easy. I mean, hell, you have posts above from someone who's group is at epic levels and still feel like Elminsters' messenger boys.


Personally, I like games with lots of metaplot. It's why I'm such a FASA fanboy. All that time and I never actually ran into Dunkelzahn/Mountain Shadow. I had characters that grew up in the Tir, but never had to try and over throw it. In fact the absence of a metaplot will make me drop a system fast as anything, since there's nothing there to hold my interest.

Matthew
2008-01-22, 06:27 AM
WotC has published a *lot* more modules than I remembered, so my assumptions around that have been wrong. However, very few of these modules or supplements were branded into specific campaign worlds, unlike 2nd edition.

I find that surprising as well. Any chance you might list them up?

Skjaldbakka
2008-01-22, 06:38 AM
And the old stuff will still be around, there’s no rule that say that you cant play 3,5 after 4 edition is realest

Actually, there is. We are talking about the end of Living Greyhawk, and the beginning of Living Realms, are we not. There is no more support for Living Greyhawk, it is over. So if you want that kind of national level gaming community, you have to play 4th ed., and you have to play in the forgotten realms.

I never really got into the LG thing (the modules I cut my teeth on were really badly written), but that doesn't make the LG community any less a group that is getting stiffed by 4th ed.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 06:49 AM
Alright, let's get something out of the way, right now. Nobody needs to treat me like I can't handle high level NPCs; I play /freaking Exalted/, which has more near-godlike characters then you can shake a stick at. The problem is not, at heart, how many higher levels there are. The problem is "Who are the movers and shakers of the world; Who is the center of the story". Metaplots have the nastiest tendency to make this the NPCs. Rule the first of any roleplay: The PCs /are/ the center of the narrative. The world? No. But the narrative? Yes. That's the /whole point/.



But that isn't true, you can go plenty of places without epic NPCs and there really aren't that many super wizard domains. It just isn't that true
from
EE

What matters more then being true is it /feeling/ true. If you /feel/ insignificant within a setting that has its metaplot due to the number of immensely powerful movers and shakers, whom /aren't/ you, then the setting has too many powerful NPCs. Period.


Personally, I like games with lots of metaplot. It's why I'm such a FASA fanboy. All that time and I never actually ran into Dunkelzahn/Mountain Shadow. I had characters that grew up in the Tir, but never had to try and over throw it. In fact the absence of a metaplot will make me drop a system fast as anything, since there's nothing there to hold my interest.
Oh yay, other people get to do awesome things while the party gets to be their messenger boys. Yawn and pass. By all means, give me an established setting if you wish, but if you want to push products on me with your marvelous metaplot, nothing doing. I'll take the setting as is, at start, and leave it at that while the PCs move in.


Did you ever play WestEnd Games d6 Star Wars?

Probably once of the best designed set of rules ever, (despite needing a crapload of D6's to play it.) The setting? Somewhere between Star Wars Ep.4 and Return of the Jedi.
Played it a /little/, yes. I wouldn't call it one of the best designed rules, but it wasn't that bad. Too bad most o fhte setting info got overturned. The Star Wars universe is waaay too bloated...


The characters? A bunch of mostly non-force using nobodies...who were nonetheless far superior to the stormtroopers that the empire would send your way. You were generally republic peons...infantry, smugglers, pirates, pilots, etc. At no point were you ever in a position to overthrow the empire or beat Darth Vader in a duel. That wasn't the point of the game. The epic metaplot of the movies was taking place in the background. Did anyone complain? No...there were plenty of fascinating and epic stories to be told outside that metaplot, that could make you still feel like you are a part of that metaplot, without changing. Any decent DM can do the same in FR. Metaplot is a very good thing....especially if the players know it (or parts of it.) They make the campaign setting and world seem so much more real, they make the players feel like they are part of something bigger and not just ....well, giants in a playground, to quote John Sheridan. The PCs can feel epic and important without having the campaign world revolve around them. Star Wars managed this because, well, a galaxy is huge. Hundreds of billions of stars, even more planets. Saving a planet is "epic" enough for anyone, yet is an inconsequential event in the grand scheme of the metaplot. Thing is, in star wars, a hundred billion worlds is still smaller when you can hyperdrive across the galaxy in a few weeks, than a single world is in a fantasy setting (teleport notwithstanding.) Faerun is the largest published campaign setting I've ever played in, in any genre, in that it has more well-developed places, people and legend than any of them. And the characters and storylines in Faerun are mostly more interesting and better than anything George Lucas has ever been able to come up with. (But then, a bunch of game developers in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada took George Lucas's setting and created a bunch of more interesting characters and a better story than anything he ever told, and stuck it in a video game, so I suppose that's not saying much.)
As I recall, there were rules for having force-sensitives. Second, no, saving a single planet /isn't/ epic, in Star Wars, and you said /exactly why/. The words "Epic" and "Insignificant" or "Inconsequential" have no business being near each other. If /any/ accomplishment can be called inconsequential or insignificant, *By definition*, it is not epic. Of course, you were wrong about saving a planet being inconsequential in the SW universe anyway; Sure, saving <backwater nobody's heard of> isn't doing the narrative any favors, but if you were to save, say, the /entire Hapes Cluster/, or Correlia, or the Kuat System, you've done something important either way.

And don't give me any crap about "A small group of people aren't supposed to do that". At least one EU trilogy involves the SW protagonists stopping Correlia from being destroyed. Granted, the EU is mostly crap, but Star Wars is Space Opera. Space Opera is made of that kind of thing. If you as a GM can't make that genuinely epic, when you try (Because you're making it pretty clear that you, at least, would not,) you genuinely need to ask someone for help on how to GM epic.


Oh, come on. "Their own thing" is the metaplot. In fact, what decent DM that runs serial campaigns (as opposed to a bunch of one-shots) doesn't have a metaplot of some kind, even if he's using his own setting? Things happen in the world independent of the PCs, and sometimes they're big things. That's all a metaplot is. Without one, the world is sterile, static, and utterly predictable, since the only changes that will come about come as a direct result of what the PCs do.
Emphasis mine, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Alright, most of this is screwed up logic, within the context of this debate (The forgotten realms, and metaplots full of uberpowerful people who reduce the PCs to errand boys). You're correct, a plot is needed. I believe I've never contested this, and explicitly stated that I'm speaking in terms of what makes an interesting narrative, which by definition means I want a plot. The problem here is the context of the debate itself, really; A metaplot that reduces the PCs to mere nothings. Seriously, Renegade, Context is /important/. Taking things out of context is a pretty bad idea in general.

Now, let's examine what I bolded there. Ignoring for a moment, the ridiculousness of "Lack of metaplot with ridiculously powerful NPCs = Only PCs do crap (After all, I'm /pretty damn sure/ that we don't have someone on par with Elminster in the Real World, yet people you've never met get along with their lives perfectly fine, moving towards their life's goals), in what sense is it a problem for the PCs to have large direct effects on the world? They're the heroes, dammit. That's the point! It's been a long time since I've read an epic (Or indeed, any other high fantasy) where the protagonists /didn't/ have massive effects on their world. Odysseus, Ajax, Achilles, and Hector fought in a massive war. Beowulf ended the reign of terror of a monster, then defeated it's vengeful mother. King Arthur restored the rule of law to a warring, in-fighting land, then managed to defeat the armies of his insane son, dying in the process. The Yellow Emperor, according to Legend, defeated the invasion of a War Deity, his armies, and his demons, invented written language and music, etc. You don't need to be this grand in scale to be epic, but you /do/ need to be the center of the narrative. Not "Those guys that helped NPC Y do his thing".

Talya
2008-01-22, 07:53 AM
You don't need to be this grand in scale to be epic, but you /do/ need to be the center of the narrative.


And you wonder why so many people talk about "video game syndrome?" That's exactly the type of sentiment so many people hate...players who feel they should be the center of the campaign universe are the type of players you need to kill a few times to prove that they aren't.

I've been playing in an FR campaign for 2 years. About to hit level 15. My character is on the verge of opening up a ridiculously posh temple of Sune in Calimport. It feels quite "epic." We've run into a number of iconics, but they've never made us feel like a bunch of peons running around doing their bidding. (The most interaction has been with Qilue on our way down to the underdark, and Alustriel, who my sorceress slept with.)

Rutee
2008-01-22, 07:56 AM
And you wonder why so many people talk about "video game syndrome?"

I do still. Not only am I unsure what you're talking about, despite having a guess, I am attempting to figure out at what point I quoted a video game. Unless you are implying that the various legends and Epics I just now quoted are in fact, video games, not tales from a time before electronics or, in some cases, written traditions.

Edit: As a side note, I get the distinct sense that 'Video Game Syndrome' is going to be a false problem invented by roleplayers looking to get on a high horse over console gamers for whatever stupid reason, just as the standard perception of LARP is for video gamers looking to mock roleplayers.. Someday, I will figure out why nerds feel the need to feel superior to nerds of other stripes, but today is not that day.

Further Edit: I am /well aware/ that not everyone is seeking to play that sort of game. Fine by me; You play what you want. That's kind of the point. But these problems /are there/ if you seek to play an Epic, and what you seem to want doesn't /really/ need a setting dripping with higher levels, unless you /genuinely wish/ to tell a story of errand boys. You even pointed out yourself, Talya, that you've had little interaction with the plot at large. That would appear, to me, to mean that you do not really need the metaplot at large to play your game, aside from establishing the timeline of the game. Perhaps I'm wrong on this, however. Why do you feel you need thet Metaplot, if that's not it?

BlackandGold
2008-01-22, 08:27 AM
What is this "Living Greyhawk", everybody keeps speaking about? And why should it be important for Roleplaying Conventions which System is currently supported by the Company? Is it really that ironbound in the USA?

In Germany, we don't have either Living Something and the Conventions here aren't really that bound by company-support. I like it.

My personal Opinion is, that this will be another Reason to don't go in the direction of 4th Edition. I do really too much other Stuff to get a new Edition. And i like FR and its overpowered NPCs too much.

toysailor
2008-01-22, 08:39 AM
I think the main issue here is that many of the older players didn't like WoTC making groundbreaking, canonical changes to the metaplot, especially since some gaming groups have been running their campaigns for years.

Kurald Galain
2008-01-22, 09:03 AM
What is this "Living Greyhawk", everybody keeps speaking about? And why should it be important for Roleplaying Conventions which System is currently supported by the Company? Is it really that ironbound in the USA?

It is a shared setting, that essentially allows you to play the same character over a series of conventions, and have it level up and so forth. Arguably that's more interesting than one-offs with pregenerated characters. It has officially approved adventures (most of which boil down to railroading and dungeon hack, in my experience) and an overarching meta-plot.

So yes, for convention regulars, it is a big deal that this is moving from Greyhawk to the FR.

CASTLEMIKE
2008-01-22, 09:13 AM
I was under the impression that Kara-Tur was better than Al-Qadim, but then Kara-Tur had already been basically dropped by TSR before Al-Qadim was released, so it's hard for me to tell. Mazteca was poorly supported right out of the gate.

Let's look at some statistics. I have a collection of modules all the way from the beginning of D&D. I've bought nearly everything that TSR/WotC has produced for D&D, because I've got a strange collector bug. There are some I don't have because they were only available to RPGA members and at certain conventions that I was unable to attend, but what I do have should be enough for some statistics. I've used the term 'Generic' as meaning that a specific campaign setting has not been called out on the cover. Module means a pamphlet-style adventure or boxed adventure, while Supplement means a non-adventure campaign supplement including the original campaign setting. I'm not entirely sure if I should count Frostburn and the other environmental splatbooks as 'Campaign Supplements' or not, but I have, and put them under the 'Miscellaneous' category along with Blackmoor, Council of Wyrms, and others of the like that only ever had one supplement published. Mazteca was always published under the FR banner, unlike Al-Qadim and Kara-Tur, so I haven't pulled them out into their own category. I also have not included all those strange Dragonlance 'Saga Edition' things, as they don't fall into any edition in a way I understand.



Thanks for posting the edition and setting statistics. I have the same collector bug several standing files, boxes and a few bookcases so even if you have it very well organized it should have taken quite a bit of time to sort and tally up into statistics to post.

DeathQuaker
2008-01-22, 09:14 AM
Rutee and Tren (and others), can you please provide specific, real-life examples of campaigns where FR "Standard" heroic NPCs like Elminster got in the way of the PCs being the heroes of their story?

I'm having trouble seeing where you're coming from on your arguments simply because I've never seen such a thing occur in my personal experience, nor heard about it in others' Realms games. I'd like to understand the practical side of your argument--not how it "might" affect some players theoretically, but how it actually has.

I've played in Realms campaigns for years, both AD&D 2nd Ed and D&D 3.x, run by many different GMs with different play styles. We all knew that certain persons existed here and there and did important things, but we never met them (exception: my PC once met Moradin, who is a god, and it was under extremely odd circumstances), and their existence never impinged upon what our PCs set out to do or accomplished. We've done everything from saved a PC's family from an ancestral curse to cleansed much of Chult of evil... and were received as the heroes of the day as we deserved (... and maybe on occasion thrown out of town when that was what we deserved instead... :smallwink: but it was still hella fun... :smallbiggrin: ). No one ever showed up and said, "Well, not bad, but Elminster could've done better.

My personal, practical experience with the Realms has shown me that it is an ENORMOUS world, and even with the knowledge that some hero somewhere else might be doing something, there's still so much to allow a PC to find their niche and shine. The world's backstory just provides (sometimes much-needed) flavor.

When I look at Elminster and Drizzt and the like, I just consider them the "PCs" of the novels and stories they appear in. They're not even NPCs... they shouldn't even show up in someone's campaigns. From my point of view, they're just examples of what the PCs themselves can achieve... and surpass.

Fhaolan
2008-01-22, 09:21 AM
I find that surprising as well. Any chance you might list them up?

I do apologize. It appears that my count was off. The list I used to create the statistics included web enhancements as individual entries. I'll correct that in the table post. In the meantime, here's the list I have, modules-only, with the specific edition (3.0/3.5), in case it matters.

Eberron:
Grasp of the Emerald Claw [3.5]
Jungle Secrets [3.5]
Shadows of the Last War [3.5]
Voyage of the Golden Dragon [3.5]
Whispers of the Vampire's Blade [3.5]

Forgotten Realms:
Black Water [3.0]
City of the Spider Queen [3.0]
Fang, Beak and Claw [3.0]
Into the Dragon's Lair [3.0]
Sons of Gruumsh [3.0]

Greyhawk:
Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk [3.5]
The Proper Count [3.0]
Tower of Lore [3.0]
Village of Camiram [3.0]

Generic:
Barrow of the Forgotten King [3.5]
A Dark and Stormy Knight [3.5]
A Giant Ransom [3.0]
Alchemist's Eyrie [3.0]
An Eye for an Eye [3.0]
An Icy Heart [3.0]
Approaching Storm [3.0]
Bad Light [3.5]
Bad Moon Waning [3.5]
Base of Operations [3.0]
Bastion of Broken Souls [3.0]
Black Rain [3.0]
Bridge Work [3.0]
Burning Plague [3.0]
Candlemaker's Fire [3.0]
Cave of the Spiders [3.5]
Caves of Shadow [3.0]
Deep Horizon [3.0]
Desert Sands [3.0]
Dry Spell [3.5]
Environmnental Impact [3.0]
Equinox [3.0]
Ettin's Riddle [3.0]
Expedition to Castle Ravenloft [3.5]
Expedition to the Demonweb Pits [3.5]
Eye of the Sun [3.5]
Fait Accompli [3.5]
Fallen Angel [3.0]
Force of Nature [3.5]
Fortress of the Yuan-ti [3.5]
Frigid Demise [3.0]
Frozen Whispers [3.5]
Ghosts of Aniel [3.0]
Hallowed Hills [3.0]
Harvest of Evil [3.0]
Haskens Manor [3.0]
Haunting Lodge [3.0]
Heart of Nightfang Spire [3.0]
Hindsight [3.0]
Horror of Lannock Hill [3.0]
House of Harpies [3.0]
Ill Wind in Fiezford [3.5]
Into the Darkness [3.0]
Into the Forsaken Temple's Crypt [3.0]
Into the Frozen Waste [3.0]
Kingdom of the Blind [3.0]
Legend of the Silver Skeleton [3.5]
Lest Darkness Rise [3.5]
Light of Despair [3.0]
Lochfells Secret [3.5]
Lord of the Iron Fortress [3.0]
Lorins Chasm [3.0]
Manifesting - A Tale [3.0]
Matters of Vengeance [3.5]
Ministry of Winds [3.0]
Nest of Corruption [3.0]
One Last Riddle [3.0]
Over the Edge [3.0]
Question of Ethics [3.0]
Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil [3.0]
Road to Oblivion [3.0]
Scourge of the Howling Horde [3.5]
Self Fulfilling Prophecy [3.0]
Sharkbait [3.0]
Sheeps Clothing [3.5]
Shoals of Intrigue [3.5]
Shrine of the Feathered Serpent [3.5]
Sinister Spire [3.5]
Something's Cooking [3.0]
Start of the End [3.0]
Stone Dead [3.0]
Tarus Banquet [3.5]
Temple of Redcliff [3.0]
Test of the Demonweb [3.0]
The Crumbling Hall of the Frost Giant Jarl [3.0]
The Forge of Fury [3.0]
The Kopru Ruins [3.5]
The Red Hand of Doom [3.5]
The Sea Witch [3.0]
The Secret of the Windswept Wall [3.0]
The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde [3.5]
The Speaker in Dreams [3.0]
The Standing Stone [3.0]
The Sunless Citadel [3.0]
The Thunder Below [3.5]
The Trouble in Town [3.0]
The Unwavering Path [3.5]
Thicker than Water [3.0]
Tigers Palace [3.0]
To Quell the Rising Storm [3.5]
Tomb of Horrors (Revised for 3.5) [3.5]
Tower in the Ice [3.5]
Tower of Deception [3.0]
Training Grounds [3.0]
Treasure of the Black Veils [3.0]
Unearthing the Past [3.0]
Vessel of Stars [3.0]
War of Dragons [3.5]
White Plume Mountain (Revised for 3.5) [3.5]
Wreck Ashore [3.5]

Even if you discount the web-only releases like the Tomb of Horrors and White Plume Mountain revisions, it's still a sizable list.

CASTLEMIKE
2008-01-22, 09:24 AM
Rutee and Tren (and others), can you please provide specific, real-life examples of campaigns where FR "Standard" heroic NPCs like Elminster got in the way of the PCs being the heroes of their story?



As a player I didn't care for the plot railroading, lynching, jailing and narrow escape in Shadowdale in FRE1-3 The Time of Trouble modules after the PCs (Level 3 - 7) just tried to save Shadowdale and the crowd is out for their blood for "Killing" Elminster the Archmage and Chosen of Mystra who has disappeared.

As a DM with those adventures I strongly dislike that aspect of the canned module even more (despite being a very easy fix to adapt) as there is nothing in the text saying that the Lord of Shadowdale is only going through the motions to appease his subjects and the Harpers before the PCs are executed the next morning. Very irritating since the PCs were serving as Officers in the Shadowdale army.

Those were the primary adventures the PCs encountered the Chosen of Mystra in game and interacted with them.

Of course in later years the PCs were quite unpleasant to the locals of Shadowdale when ever they visited.

The party bard wrote a nice song "Harper Justice... They Lynch you in Shadowdale..... Don't visit Shadowdale while Elminster is away........." which became quite poplular in other locales since organizations like the Red Wizards promoted it.

In the Marco Volo adventures the PCs could meet several Gods at the conclusion. IMO Talya would really enjoy those adventures.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 09:37 AM
Rutee and Tren (and others), can you please provide specific, real-life examples of campaigns where FR "Standard" heroic NPCs like Elminster got in the way of the PCs being the heroes of their story?
Heh. Yeah, listening to my boyfriend talk about the oWoD metaplot, for one. The main problem isn't that they interacted with the party, specifically; It's that the awesome, worldshaking events were all done by the ancient vampires/werewolves and powerful mages and whatnot. Instead of the awesomeness being by the PCs, it was done by the NPCs, and /that/ is the large pitfall.

This too, has been my own experience in a different setting, wherein powerful NPCs existed whom did all the ground shaking, important events. This will seem odd, but I'm going to be brief on that note, because that particular setting and game cause me to typically break whatever I'm holding whenever I think about it for very long. Suffice it to say, the problem is not the NPCs' existence, but whether they are considerred the centerpieces of the narrative, whilst the PCs are as ants before these titans. Which I can promise you happens. It's bad GMing, definitely, but a setting like that, to my eyes, seems to encourage it, having consistently seen such.



I'm having trouble seeing where you're coming from on your arguments simply because I've never seen such a thing occur in my personal experience, nor heard about it in others' Realms games. I'd like to understand the practical side of your argument--not how it "might" affect some players theoretically, but how it actually has.
As I said above, my theory is derived from unfortunate practice. I'm being general mostly to keep myself calm, so I apologize, but I will not have specific examples of it coming up in the various games. Suffice it to say, if I say it 'could' happen, it either has, or I'm extrapolating from something else that has happened.


I've played in Realms campaigns for years, both AD&D 2nd Ed and D&D 3.x, run by many different GMs with different play styles. We all knew that certain persons existed here and there and did important things, but we never met them (exception: my PC once met Moradin, who is a god, and it was under extremely odd circumstances), and their existence never impinged upon what our PCs set out to do or accomplished. We've done everything from saved a PC's family from an ancestral curse to cleansed much of Chult of evil... and were received as the heroes of the day as we deserved (... and maybe on occasion thrown out of town when that was what we deserved instead... :smallwink: but it was still hella fun... :smallbiggrin: ). No one ever showed up and said, "Well, not bad, but Elminster could've done better.
See, none of this is a problem to me, and it sounds more like you're talking about the setting (The places and people within the Forgotten REalms) then the metaplot (The beeg eemportant plot that Wizards or whoever has the uber NPCs doing that shakes the world in ways the PCs can't possibly touch or stop). My problem is, primarily, with NPCs becoming the centerpieces of the plot (Which above posters have noted, and I will go dig up at least a post or two in a moment), which the metaplot definitely encourages.


My personal, practical experience with the Realms has shown me that it is an ENORMOUS world, and even with the knowledge that some hero somewhere else might be doing something, there's still so much to allow a PC to find their niche and shine. The world's backstory just provides (sometimes much-needed) flavor.

When I look at Elminster and Drizzt and the like, I just consider them the "PCs" of the novels and stories they appear in. They're not even NPCs... they shouldn't even show up in someone's campaigns. From my point of view, they're just examples of what the PCs themselves can achieve... and surpass.
We honeslty seem to be on the same page here, I must say. I'll admit to being blind, but I see nothing in here that opposes my central point of "The PCs are the protagonists and the centers of the narrative, and as such, are still the primary movers and shakers within the story".

DeathQuaker
2008-01-22, 09:39 AM
As a player I didn't care for the plot railroading, lynching and narrow escape in Shadowdale in FRE1-3 The Time of Trouble modules after the PCs just tried to save Shadowdale and the crowd is out for their blood for "Killing" Elminster who has disappeared. Those were the primary adventures the PCs encountered the Chosen of Mystra in game and interacted with them.

So they actually do bring these characters into predesigned modules?

That's very unfortunate. (I have no experience whatsoever with playing from modules, so have no idea what they contain. I forget they are actually a major component of D&D gaming for many people, so that's a good reminder.)

Do you think this "Reboot" would prevent this sort of railroading in future modules? Or would they find other ways to railroad?

Rutee
2008-01-22, 09:49 AM
Do you think this "Reboot" would prevent this sort of railroading in future modules? Or would they find other ways to railroad?

Removing a high contingent of the movers and shakers definitely can help prevent it. I am not, by any means of the imagination, saying it /will/, but it can. They can, to answer your question, certainly find other ways to railroad.

Matthew
2008-01-22, 09:56 AM
Even if you discount the web-only releases like the Tomb of Horrors and White Plume Mountain revisions, it's still a sizable list.

Ah right. You're counting the scores of 'free modules'. I don't think they made any money off those. :smallbiggrin:

DeathQuaker
2008-01-22, 09:59 AM
Heh. Yeah, listening to my boyfriend talk about the oWoD metaplot, for one. The main problem isn't that they interacted with the party, specifically; It's that the awesome, worldshaking events were all done by the ancient vampires/werewolves and powerful mages and whatnot. Instead of the awesomeness being by the PCs, it was done by the NPCs, and /that/ is the large pitfall.

Elminster showed up in the old World of Darkness? Wow, he is powerful. :smallwink:

Sorry, I should have been more clear: I'd like specific examples of Forgotten Realms games where this occurred.

I've played games where GMPCs show up and upstage the PCs; I have to admit I did it myself in my early days of GMing (we live and learn). This isn't specific to any one setting. This is a problem with crappy GMs, not any given setting.

A lot of complaints I see about the Forgotten Realms are that "the metaplot characters upstage everyone else" AND, moreover, that this is the justification for the Forgotten Realms reboot.

I have yet to see that the metaplot characters were actually, in practical experience, detrimental, to actual Forgotten Realms campaigns. From what I'm gleaning from your post, you actually haven't experienced this yourself, presuming...



This too, has been my own experience in a different setting, wherein powerful NPCs existed whom did all the ground shaking, important events.

This "different setting" is also not the Forgotten Realms. I don't see Forgotten Realms games encouraging this behavior. At all.

The worst D&D campaign I was ever in had the NPCs overtaking everything, as you similarly describe. It was a GM's homebrew campaign world. It *didn't* happen in the FR games I played, and no "rebooting" is going to keep lousy GMs from making their GMPCs the heroes of the story.

You make a lot of very valid points about the importance of PCs in narrative, but as far as I'm concerned, none of these points have anything to do with why the FR should have been rebooted. If anything, this "reboot" adds metaplot that more or less arbitrarily destroys huge chunks of people's characters and campaigns in a snap, and that's something metaplot should not do.



See, none of this is a problem to me, and it sounds more like you're talking about the setting (The places and people within the Forgotten REalms) then the metaplot (The beeg eemportant plot that Wizards or whoever has the uber NPCs doing that shakes the world in ways the PCs can't possibly touch or stop).

My experience with FR metaplot is it's background information. It's part of the setting. You can go along with it, or not, depending on what you choose.

BAD metaplot is when the game company says, "Hi, we don't like our world anymore, so we're blowing it up, screw any of you who have longstanding campaigns built in it" AND MOREOVER it changes the mechanics to reflect what they did--meaning people can't use the new rules and their old campaigns together, without a lot of unecessary, time-consuming houseruling and rewriting.

That's why the FR reboot sucks. (Especially since Elminster and certain other NPCs will still exist, to continue to add metaplot to the setting.)

A better solution to the FR "problem," if it exists, would have been to leave the setting itself exactly as it is but stop creating metaplot altogether.


We honeslty seem to be on the same page here, I must say. I'll admit to being blind, but I see nothing in here that opposes my central point of "The PCs are the protagonists and the centers of the narrative, and as such, are still the primary movers and shakers within the story".

*nods* I think we actually come from fairly similar gaming experiences to some degree.

And the more I think about it, I think all metaplot is pretty bad. WotC making more/different metaplot for the Realms isn't going to make it any better.

BadJuJu
2008-01-22, 10:09 AM
The high levels in faerun are too busy to handle every issue that comes up.

For example:

Elminster has his hands full in Shadowdale alone, and in the other planes he is constantly visiting.

Allustriel and The Simbul (Alasra) Silverhand run the day-to-day affairs of kingdoms. They aren't out engaging in spellbattles (although The Simbul does her best to decimate Thayans as often as possible.) Qilué has her hands full with Lolth.

Waterdeep kept Kelben Blackstaff Arunsun busy in life, I'm sure it will keep him busy in death as well. His widow, Laeral is just as busy.

Dove Falconhand is a ranger, Storm Silverhand is a Bard, not exactly arcane powerhouses.

Syluné Silverhand got melted by a dragon.

Halaster Blackcloak is ****ing insane, and rarely leaves his little maze.


One could go on...

Yeah, but those NPC's make it hard to target any of those kingdoms with anything. Waterdeep is a center of life on Faerune(sp) and its hard to set plots there because Blackstaff would squash it before it got started. Same for all the other places.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 10:19 AM
I must agree here. I'm playing in a FR game now were we are approaching Epic levels and we still feel like Elminsters servants. Frankly, I just don't understand why they couldn't go to some other plane and duke it out.

A specific, FR example for you. You have been most unclear if you specifically only care about the FR and more importantly, /my/ point, to which you've been directly responding to, has been far more general then 'just' the Forgotten Realms, to say the least.



I've played games where GMPCs show up and upstage the PCs; I have to admit I did it myself in my early days of GMing (we live and learn). This isn't specific to any one setting. This is a problem with crappy GMs, not any given setting.

A lot of complaints I see about the Forgotten Realms are that "the metaplot characters upstage everyone else" AND, moreover, that this is the justification for the Forgotten Realms reboot.

I have yet to see that the metaplot characters were actually, in practical experience, detrimental, to actual Forgotten Realms campaigns. From what I'm gleaning from your post, you actually haven't experienced this yourself, presuming...
Correct; I have not specifically seen FR NPCs upstage things, because I have never botherred with the Forgotten Realms. I have seen NPCs in analagous situations do precisely this. Yes, any GMNPC can do this, and yes, it's not setting specific, but when you have a metaplot full of NPCs that are on that level of power, it directly encourages their use by the GMs.

In fact, the fact that this is not setting-specific is /exactly/ why you shouldn't only care about stories of FR NPCs doing it. It isn't unique to them, by any means. It strikes me as burying your head in the sand.




You make a lot of very valid points about the importance of PCs in narrative, but as far as I'm concerned, none of these points have anything to do with why the FR should have been rebooted. If anything, this "reboot" adds metaplot that more or less arbitrarily destroys huge chunks of people's characters and campaigns in a snap, and that's something metaplot should not do.

I apologize for the lack of clarity; I really couldn't care less about the reboot, because I really, really couldn't care less about the Forgotten Realms, so I have hardly been framing my arguments in that context; I only intervened once people started speaking in more general terms in the first place, if you'll look. However, int his specific example? Reducing the number of cosmic NPCs discourages their use somewhat. I say somewhat, because as you've said, anyone can have uber GMNPCs of their own design. However, if you reduce the number of already-present walking DEM, you reduce the likelihood of such an NPC enterring your campaign. If there are less of them, it appears to be less 'okay' to have one in your game. It shouldn't make, on this count, a lick of difference to a good GM, but we do not live in a perfect world where everyone's a good GM. Reducing the likelihood of an 'average' or 'bad' GM from screwing up is /still/ a worthwhile effort.


My experience with FR metaplot is it's background information. It's part of the setting. You can go along with it, or not, depending on what you choose.

BAD metaplot is when the game company says, "Hi, we don't like our world anymore, so we're blowing it up, screw any of you who have longstanding campaigns built in it" AND MOREOVER it changes the mechanics to reflect what they did--meaning people can't use the new rules and their old campaigns together.
I dunno, contriving an end to your metaplot strikes me as less intelligent then just saying OOC "We're done", but it's not really bad. At least, not moreso then the very concept of a metaplot.

Now, I will flat out say you're wrong about not being able to use the new rules and the old setting; DnD is setting neutral still, and given that the class' names will remain the same, there shouldn't be a massive difference.


That's why the FR reboot sucks. (Especially since Elminster and certain other NPCs will still exist, to continue to add metaplot to the setting.)

A better solution to the FR "problem," if it exists, would have been to leave the setting itself exactly as it is but stop creating metaplot altogether.
Guess what! We agree again! Well, mostly. I'm not sure if it'll suck overall, but you can /definitely/ have done better by just not producing more metaplot at all. But that's less then surprising.


*nods* I think we actually come from fairly similar gaming experiences to some degree.

And the more I think about it, I think all metaplot is pretty bad. WotC making more/different metaplot for the Realms isn't going to make it any better.
I am of the opinion that it's all bad as well. But the bad, mostly, hasn't been infringing on your fun, at least. Well, til' now, so it would make sense for the reboot to appear infinitely worse, come to think of it.

CASTLEMIKE
2008-01-22, 10:25 AM
So they actually do bring these characters into predesigned modules?

That's very unfortunate. (I have no experience whatsoever with playing from modules, so have no idea what they contain. I forget they are actually a major component of D&D gaming for many people, so that's a good reminder.)

Do you think this "Reboot" would prevent this sort of railroading in future modules? Or would they find other ways to railroad?

Yes (Sorry I was editing the post for a better read) but it is very unusual and it is primarily to make a memorable scene/moment for the PCs for a better FRCS gaming experience.

Personally as a gamer I use gaming source books as my primary references not the FRCS novels because the game mechanics work so differently than the story mechanics. Spellfire is a very good example for something that works very differently in game than in the novels through several editions.

The PCs can meet Elminster briefly in a few other modules and even get a land grant in Shadowdale in the The Sword of the Dales triology. For most games that is a fun and memorable adventure.

It's possible to observe Elminster very briefly in the @1994 Shadowdale source book as a low level aspiring adventurer possibly from Shadowdale if desired. At levels 1 -2 or even 3 that is pretty cool especially for an aspiring wizard, bard, harper or cleric of Mystra or Azuth. Most of the time he isn't home and his tower has some interesting signs so it is a memorable experience if the PCs drop by. Of course there are a few other local Chosen (Harper Bard and Ghost Witch) who may or may not be home depending on the DM (PCs might see at The Old Skull Inn).

Marco Volo adventures are nice if you want to meet a few gods in passing in FRCS and free in the old editions down load section unfortuneately I couldn't access it today to post a hyperlink. Edit here it is:

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/dnd/downloads

IMO from reading Talya's posts at GitP she would really enjoy playing the Marco Volo adventures with a lower level PC or perusing them if she doesn't ever plan on playing them because of the final climactic scene in the third one.

Recuing Waukeen from the Abyss "For Duty and Diety" is another Epic style adventure for non Epic PCs who will get to interact briefly with a God. It's a free download at the old editions at Wizards.

Regarding the last question. IMO WOTC has gotten pretty good about not railroading the plots now it is mostly giving the PCs direction but the adventures themselves have generally become more mechanical encounters IMO so I generally prefer purchasing a fluffly crunch setting style source book to a WOTC adventure source book or module. The PCs might need that artifact to save the world but they are a lot more flexible in how the PCs go about achieving that plot device item in game and there will be DM notes addressing those plot devices and there is usually more than just a single method to save the day.

IMO a setting reboot is needed by WOTC as a business to sell more product "fluff" source books since it basically makes the exisiting source books obsolete by invalidating their canon by adding a century of changes. Sure it happened but now.....either the previous canon doesn't exist or is has experienced major changes over a century of FRCS timeline basically you need the new and improved book customer.

A very interesting observation from the Wizard's boards IMO was that the areas spared the nearly century long ravages of spell plagues and wild magic are areas featuring novels coming out in the next few years (Cormyr and Waterdeep).

DeathQuaker
2008-01-22, 10:30 AM
I am of the opinion that it's all bad as well. But the bad, mostly, hasn't been infringing on your fun, at least. Well, til' now, so it would make sense for the reboot to appear infinitely worse, come to think of it.

That's pretty much it, yep. And the reboot is the subject of this thread.

All I will say is, I am very experienced with the Forgotten Realms, and I've not seen its metaplot interfere with the campaigns I've played in. The metaplot revolving around the reboot WILL interfere with those campaigns. That's where I'm coming from -- and that's why I want to know about people's specific experiences with that setting, as to why they think this reboot is justified when from my POV, it interferes with what PCs and GMs have accomplished in this world in a way the Realms NPCs never have before.

You've had bad gaming experiences, probably similar to mine. You're operating on some sound theories, but I have to take your comments with a grain of salt when, in the end, you're only guessing how your experiences relate to the Forgotten Realms, something which you've made more and more clear that you know relatively little about. (And if you "couldn't care less" about the Forgotten Realms, I have to wonder why you've put so much time and energy into posting on this thread about it. I do care, which is why I'm here.)

I'm happy to agree with you on the important stuff--metaplot often sucks and GMs shouldn't make PCs feel weak--and disagree with you on the rest. Chalk it up to different points of view and different passions and leave it at that.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-22, 10:32 AM
I would like to state for the record that I have run several Forgotten Realms published adventures, namely Sons of Gruumsh, The Twilight Tomb, Mysteries of the Moonsea, and Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave. I am currently running Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land and will run Anauroch: The Empire of Shade when Shadowdale is done. Additionally, I've run a few adventures from their online archive, including Vanrakdoom, which was the web enhancement for Champions of Ruin.

I admit that this experience isn't exactly comprehensive given the large number of FR adventures out there, but I can say this: None of them involve any of the major good-aligned iconics beyond mentioning a few of their names, and the PCs in the Cormyr-Shadowdale-Anauroch trilogy have the opportunity to kill a couple of major evil-aligned iconics, thus becoming movers and shakers themselves. (The PCs in the Moonsea book have the opportunity to kill some of the really heavy evil iconics, but only if they intentionally go out of their way to do so and are willing to risk a TPK for it.)

I think that bears repeating: The newest (and last for 3e) published adventures for the Realms make the PCs into an important part of changing the realms for the 4e cataclysm. That doesn't make the cataclysm a good idea, but that's about as far from this idea that the current Realms don't allow the PCs to change the world as you can get.

Awetugiw
2008-01-22, 10:33 AM
Yeah, but those NPC's make it hard to target any of those kingdoms with anything. Waterdeep is a center of life on Faerune(sp) and its hard to set plots there because Blackstaff would squash it before it got started. Same for all the other places.
Think of it this way. Compare it to the real world. At some point the PC's become powerful. At that point, they want to start a plot either to:
1) Take over the US.
2) Take over a small South-American nation.

Choice one would be like trying to start an important plot in Waterdeep - pretty hard. The second one is like doing the same in a country without epic leadership and such.

At some point you'll likely be powerful enough to conquer a small nation. That does not mean you're powerful enough to just do whatever you want.

The FR give enough options to be the center of the plot without being the center of the world. Of course this is much less epic than actually being the center of the world. But i return you get a world that doesn't just sit there waiting for you to show up. It's all in what kind of game you prefer.

If you should end up ruling the US, and the rest of the world really, at level 15, then don't play FR. If level 15 is where you may be able to start a coup in a small nation, then FR works pretty well.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 10:35 AM
You've had bad gaming experiences, probably similar to mine. You're operating on some sound theories, but I have to take your comments with a grain of salt when, in the end, you're only guessing how your experiences relate to the Forgotten Realms, something which you've made more and more clear that you know relatively little about. (And if you "couldn't care less" about the Forgotten Realms, I have to wonder why you've put so much time and energy into posting on this thread about it. I do care, which is why I'm here.)
Like I said, I only intervened once people started moving from "Forgotten Realms are fine as is" (A point I couldn't debunk if I tried, which I wouldn't bother; True or not, it's not in my capability or knowledge base to prove it either way) to "All this stuff is perfectly sound in theory and can't screw up people's game experience" (Which, not only is that completely untrue, in my experience, is SIGNIFICANTLY more general and setting neutral), in essence.

As to why I looked in the first place.. Trainwreck syndrome. Most of the cantankerous curmudgeonery I've noticed about 4e is exactly that, as far as I can tell, and it's fascinating to watch for reasons I don't properly understand. PErhaps I watch so that, 15 years down the line, I too can say "Yeah, I saw all this screaming, already, and it was just as unfounded then as it is now".

Fhaolan
2008-01-22, 11:17 AM
Ah right. You're counting the scores of 'free modules'. I don't think they made any money off those. :smallbiggrin:

True, but they did 'publish' them, which cost editing and writing budget and so should be counted... somehow... I'm just not entirely sure how. It throws a bit of a wrench into comparisons between editions.

If I discount them, then I have to go through 2nd edition as well and completely eliminate all the web-only publications like all the Savage Coast stuff.

There's a lot of variables in this stuff, and without building datasets with drill-down pivots it's difficult to sort out what's important and what isn't. And it isn't really worth my time to do that. :smallbiggrin:

comicshorse
2008-01-22, 11:51 AM
Hold a second ( and I apologize if this has been answered already this thread is HUGE) but even if all 14th level Arcane casters die aren't there still going to be loads of high level Clerics chucking 9th level spells around.
As for the high level N.P.C.s existing ruin games. No, bad G.M.s do that, I ran in a Vampire game where the P.C. pretty much stood around and applauded the G.M.N.P.C. or got thrashed by the bad guys so she could save us. And that wasn't using any of the published N.P.C.s just the G.M.s own. If G.M.s are going to do that to you, they will regardless.
Personally speaking I,m just pissed they killed my Cleric's god. Shaundakul we'el miss you.

CASTLEMIKE
2008-01-22, 11:54 AM
Hold a second ( and I apologize if this has been answered already this thread is HUGE) but even if all 14th level Arcane casters die aren't there still going to be loads of high level Clerics chucking 9th level spells around.
As for the high level N.P.C.s existing ruin games. No, bad G.M.s do that, I ran in a Vampire game where the P.C. pretty much stood around and applauded the G.M.N.P.C. or got thrashed by the bad guys so she could save us. And that wasn't using any of the published N.P.C.s just the G.M.s own. If G.M.s are going to do that to you, they will regardless.
Personally speaking I,m just pissed they killed my Cleric's god. Shaundakul we'el miss you.

Consider only having him die in Faerun and letting him survive as an obscure slumbering Demi Power in Faerun or maybe a Lesser Power after a century in Zakhara where he had been revitalizing his faith in other locale as a God of Portals and Travellers (Lots of caravan masters in Zakhara).

As a God of Portals maybe he became a Greater Power by taking over the portfolio of Aoskar and establishing a following in Sigil and among the planes but is limited to a Demi Power in Faerun or Lesser Power status in Zakhara as per AO.

Gig_Complex
2008-01-22, 12:12 PM
Hold a second ( and I apologize if this has been answered already this thread is HUGE) but even if all 14th level Arcane casters die aren't there still going to be loads of high level Clerics chucking 9th level spells around.

From what I understand, most of the gods were killed so a lot of those clerics would lose their spellcasting and the big wig god's clerics are probably there to stay just like the Mary Sue Eliminster

Talya
2008-01-22, 01:45 PM
Yeah, but those NPC's make it hard to target any of those kingdoms with anything. Waterdeep is a center of life on Faerune(sp) and its hard to set plots there because Blackstaff would squash it before it got started. Same for all the other places.

Which is how it should be.

When I start RPing forgotten realms, the world at the beginning of my campaign should be pretty much the same as the world at the end of mine, you could merge two diverse campaigns from around the world together and have few-to-no conflicts.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 01:49 PM
I'm still waiting to hear what this "Video Game Syndrome" is, if nothing else.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-22, 01:49 PM
Yeah, but those NPC's make it hard to target any of those kingdoms with anything. Waterdeep is a center of life on Faerune(sp) and its hard to set plots there because Blackstaff would squash it before it got started. Same for all the other places.
That's just flat not true. Plots start up in Waterdeep literally all the time, canonically, without any help from any PCs. There are all kinds of street gangs in the Dock Ward, not to mention the Shadow Thieves, Red Sashes, Xanathar's Guild, and a laundry list of other secret societies that the Blackstaff neither approves of nor squashes. It is very easy to start a plot in Waterdeep.

What's not easy is just wreaking havoc and/or overthrowing the Lords of Waterdeep, but if that's your goal then you should just make sure you're powerful enough to pull it off.

Talya
2008-01-22, 02:31 PM
I'm still waiting to hear what this "Video Game Syndrome" is, if nothing else.

"Our characters are the center of the entire game setting." Most single player video game RPG plots run that way.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 02:45 PM
"Our characters are the center of the entire game setting." Most single player video game RPG plots run that way.

Too bad I said narrative, not setting.

Pity my "Nerd conflict" radar was so accurate. Given the setting of most myths (Either "Earth", in an obtuse look, or 'The known world', more often), I guess that means most ancient epics have video game syndrome. That seems backwards, somehow...

I also asked you why, if it had absolutely no interaction with your games, you needed a metaplot. Setting, mind, is not the same thing, hence why there's a question in the first place.

Artanis
2008-01-22, 02:55 PM
"Our characters are the center of the entire game setting."
Honest question: where did they say that? I'd like to see the context before making a judgement based on that statement.

Talya
2008-01-22, 02:58 PM
I also asked you why, if it had absolutely no interaction with your games, you needed a metaplot. Setting, mind, is not the same thing, hence why there's a question in the first place.

You never commented on what I said about West End Star Wars. How interesting is the star wars setting if you remove all metaplot? (Answer; it's not.) You constantly interact with it, but you do not change it. What you do ends up fitting in to what was happening, being a part of it, possibly supporting it, but never changes it.

For example, one might end up helping a bunch of Bothans (many of whom die) retrieve information on the second death star, or perhaps be part of the scouting team that selects Hoth as a system for a rebel base.

In Star Wars, there was a very small metaplot. In FR, it has always been more of a continuous web of metaplots, and it is always fun when you realize that what your characters did actually ended up enabling a canonical event.

There's the neat part in any game based on a setting that has a metaplot; being part of the events you've always seen and known about, even ending up essential to their taking place, or saving the life of a character you've read about forever, or taking up residence in a place you've seen in stories and can identify the landmarks and who interacted with them and why. You end up caring about the setting because it's alive to you, it feels real, it's not just a cobbled-together bunch of ideas a DM has come up with on the fly.

Anyway, nothing in FR as it is prevents players from being the "center of the narrative." The players are always the "center of the narrative." All the big guns do is prevent players from becoming the center of the campaign setting.

Counterspin
2008-01-22, 03:02 PM
I presume they're rebooting it because all you folks who love the current setting already own books which contain that setting, and thus have no real drive to buy unless there are dramatic changes. After the changes the portion of the old FR fanbase that converts will at least have some reason to purchase the new books. That sliver, however small, is better than nothing.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 03:18 PM
Honest question: where did they say that? I'd like to see the context before making a judgement based on that statement.

I didn't, to say the least, and she first brought it up in response to me.



I presume they're rebooting it because all you folks who love the current setting already own books which contain that setting, and thus have no real drive to buy unless there are dramatic changes. After the changes the portion of the old FR fanbase that converts will at least have some reason to purchase the new books. That sliver, however small, is better than nothing.
I hate to say it, but this is probably the most accurate answer, even if I can think of other reasons to do it. As you have been arguing consistently, however, Intentions aren't important; The end result is. I disagree with it, but anything I say would be intention-based so it's just noise to you anyway, I think.


You never commented on what I said about West End Star Wars. How interesting is the star wars setting if you remove all metaplot? (Answer; it's not.) You constantly interact with it, but you do not change it. What you do ends up fitting in to what was happening, being a part of it, possibly supporting it, but never changes it.

Answer: Very. It's actually a ridiculously huge setting and I can think of several adventurers off the top of my head that require ABSOLUTELY NO interaction with the plot of the movies, aside from knowing who to say is in power. And this is a setting ORIGINALLY DEFINED by the plot of the movies.



For example, one might end up helping a bunch of Bothans (many of whom die) retrieve information on the second death star, or perhaps be part of the scouting team that selects Hoth as a system for a rebel base.
Is now a bad time to point out that your first example, to my intense amusement, requires you to /kill/ part of the metaplot? (A small note: Luke, <Generic Smuggler rival of Han's>, and the bothans are literally the only people on the mission to grab the information)


There's the neat part in any game based on a setting that has a metaplot; being part of the events you've always seen and known about, even ending up essential to their taking place, or saving the life of a character you've read about forever,
...Fanfiction? Well, different strokes and whatnot.


or taking up residence in a place you've seen in stories and can identify the landmarks and who interacted with them and why. You end up caring about the setting because it's alive to you, it feels real, it's not just a cobbled-together bunch of ideas a DM has come up with on the fly.
This is, in fact, not metaplot. That's /setting/. There's a very distinct difference.


Anyway, nothing in FR as it is prevents players from being the "center of the narrative." The players are always the "center of the narrative." All the big guns do is prevent players from becoming the center of the campaign setting.
Newp. Reference AKA_Bait, who has pointed out that the characters are Elminster's Errand Boys. Again, not something I think would end up a problem with a good GM, but there's plenty of average, mediocre, and learning GMs in this world, and encouraging them to use the GMNPCs is bad.

Hawriel
2008-01-22, 03:47 PM
Hmm right now seems to me most of you are being rather silly about magic and NPCs. I say silly because well lets just leave it at that.

Talya is the only one who seems to get it. Rather the only one I can see with out reading every post shifting through all the crying about npcs and magic.

Mages, wizareds, sorcs, clerics of any power are supposed to be bad ass powerful!!!!!!!!!!!!!. In every classic literature from Homer all the way through to todays fantacy novels wizards are damn well powerful because wizards FORCE THE NATURAL LAWS OF THE UNIVERS TO SIT DOWN SHUT THE HELL UP AND DO AS I COMMAND....NOW ROLE OVER, SIT, BEG B!#(#!. good boy here is a scooby snack. Big E and the others are supposed to be powerful they dedicated there life to knowing the secrests of the power, weather it comes from their world or others. Tell me what story have any of you read was better because the mage charcter good or evil was a power house to be reconed with? How about the Odissy, did any of you say its totaly unfair that the witch characters (NPCs) where so more powerful that Odysious (PC) he could not just brush them aside. I guess it was unfair that Conan had to run from one wizard and fight another that turned into a snake, both almost killing him. How dare the hero face heroic challenges!!!! What about Gandolf and Merlin? I guess they really out shined every one in their stories. Hay every one Gandolf showed up I guess Aragorn and Frodo will just go home because their usless now. End of spiel.

Well FR and other settings have powerful characters because the univers does not revalve around you. Things have happened befor your PCs existed. The NPCs are the heros and villans of the world the PCs live in. They are for the PCs to admire and fear. This is what makes FR and the like a living world. The other argument is the history of FR restrics my characters I cant do any thing. Please. Star Wars has a large and detaled galaxy and I never had a problem playing in that. Oh gee I cant fight stormtroopers because only Luke Skywalker can, please.The same goes for Middle Earth, Star Trek, The Wheel of Time, Dragon Lance, the list goes on. There are some things you just cant do in a premade setting. You cant just run off and kill Darth Vader, Emenster, Gandalf, or Captain Kurk even though stat wise they are a push over. Nore can you blow up the death star or toss the ring in the valcano. Big deal there is so much more you can have your characters do in these settings why cry that Frodo did something epic.

Carving out a kindom. Guess what my gaming group is now between the 3rd and 4th campain in the Bloodstone lands adventure. My character is now king. I totaly derailed the adventure in afew ways but it did not wreck the story. Oh and my character is not named Gareth nor is a paladin. Oh no I changed FR canon. The character is just now 21st level, it took me 14 years to get him there. He can also kill just about every NPC in FR. Elmenster and Blackstaff are two he should not be able to because of raw power...well in a fair fight any way. The ruler of Silverymoon is another, not just because of her character power but because of her being a ruler of a nation. Drizzt on the other hand can be killed with out a thought. I bring this up because my character was a person of note through out the realms he lived in. He had some power, he ran his own thieves guild. It wasnt untill I started the Bloodstone lands that he became a world power. But then not much of one because FR is a large place. so slighty bigger fish in the ocean of FR.

PCs are not ment to be the absolute power in their world. Thats what gods are for. A world whare NPCs don't give a PC pause is just boring. NPCs are heros too. They made the world what it is. They also are great allies and respected commrads. If the retcon destroyes this it will be utter folly. Unless WOTC is just marketing to their fan bace, children who cant stand to have some one better than them. So their being given a world ware they have total power over all.

Counterspin
2008-01-22, 03:57 PM
The intentions of the authors are important, but not when compared to their actual output, because that's what writing is, an attempt to express your thoughts as cleanly as possible to others.

Additionally, while I pitched the reboot as an economic decision, I also think the decision is an inherently good one, for the same reasons. The FR that the anti reboot people want already exists. All well and good. Now it's time to let someone else try something new with the name and the setting. Producing a variation which other people like doesn't harm you, after all.

Grey Paladin
2008-01-22, 04:19 PM
The moment a Wizard reaches level 21 the world is, or rather, should be, realistically forever altered - if the Wizard is good - No more hunger, no more crime, No more evil, No more sickness, No more hate.

I cannot bare to play in the Forgotten Realms despite the rich background, simply because of the fact that even WOW/DBZ (which I despise) seem more realistic then FR.

Saucy_Ninja
2008-01-22, 06:15 PM
If they REALLY wanted to reset the realms, this is how I would have done it, not that my opinion matters, mind you. It can all be summed into a 5-word sentence.

"Devils lose the Blood War."

Gestate.

EvilElitest
2008-01-22, 06:27 PM
Alright, let's get something out of the way, right now. Nobody needs to treat me like I can't handle high level NPCs; I play /freaking Exalted/, which has more near-godlike characters then you can shake a stick at.

And how do you handle those near godlike characters?



The problem is not, at heart, how many higher levels there are. The problem is "Who are the movers and shakers of the world; Who is the center of the story". Metaplots have the nastiest tendency to make this the NPCs. Rule the first of any roleplay: The PCs /are/ the center of the narrative. The world? No. But the narrative? Yes. That's the /whole point/.
The PCs are in a world. A world much like ours where lots is happening all the time and stuff doesn't relate to the PCs. The PCs are in a world and they must work to make themselves known.




What matters more then being true is it /feeling/ true. If you /feel/ insignificant within a setting that has its metaplot due to the number of immensely powerful movers and shakers, whom /aren't/ you, then the setting has too many powerful NPCs. Period.

And then thats a matter of option. What if i feel that Ebberon has to many people who are two powerful? Or Manifest? Or Ravenloft? Hell, just because the PCs aren't the biggest fish in the sea doesn't mean the champion is bad




As I recall, there were rules for having force-sensitives. Second, no, saving a single planet /isn't/ epic, in Star Wars, and you said /exactly why/. The words "Epic" and "Insignificant" or "Inconsequential" have no business being near each other. If /any/ accomplishment can be called inconsequential or insignificant, *By definition*, it is not epic. Of course, you were wrong about saving a planet being inconsequential in the SW universe anyway; Sure, saving <backwater nobody's heard of> isn't doing the narrative any favors, but if you were to save, say, the /entire Hapes Cluster/, or Correlia, or the Kuat System, you've done something important either way.
And thats a bit like the realms, you save one of the dales, or defeat a single dragon you've done something important




Alright, most of this is screwed up logic, within the context of this debate (The forgotten realms, and metaplots full of uberpowerful people who reduce the PCs to errand boys).
Except that isn't really the way the realms are played. Most of the powerful NPCs have nothing to do with the PCs, who are off doing their own thing
PC aren't nothings or somethings, they are what they can make themselves be. Its like a meritocracy, the apcs are god as they can be



You're correct, a plot is needed. I believe I've never contested this, and explicitly stated that I'm speaking in terms of what makes an interesting narrative, which by definition means I want a plot. The problem here is the context of the debate itself, really; A metaplot that reduces the PCs to mere nothings. Seriously, Renegade, Context is /important/. Taking things out of context is a pretty bad idea in general.


How does the meta plot of FR make the PCs nothings?



Now, let's examine what I bolded there. Ignoring for a moment, the ridiculousness of "Lack of metaplot with ridiculously powerful NPCs = Only PCs do crap (After all, I'm /pretty damn sure/ that we don't have someone on par with Elminster in the Real World, yet people you've never met get along with their lives perfectly fine, moving towards their life's goals),
1. We also don't have wizards, magic, and dragon in this world in case you haven't noticed. Does bruce lee count?
2. Well Drizzt has PC levels, he has had adventures like a PC, and generally acts like a PC in his books, i don't see why not


in what sense is it a problem for the PCs to have large direct effects on the world? They're the heroes, dammit. That's the point! It's been a long time since I've read an epic (Or indeed, any other high fantasy) where the protagonists /didn't/ have massive effects on their world.
1. Ummm, why wouldn't PCs have a large direct effect on the world? The more fleshed out it is, the more likely your actions will change things
2. Just because they have a little sign saying "We are the heros" doesn't mean the world needs to bend backwards to accommodate them. I'm not quite sure if that is what your saying, it seems a tad bit silly
3. FR isn't a book, the Pcs make as big as a difference as they chose to
4. If Drizzt is a PC, then hasn't he proven PCs can change the world? I mean, all of the Super NPCs had years of cannon adventuring to back them up and they changed


Odysseus, Ajax, Achilles, and Hector fought in a massive war. Beowulf ended the reign of terror of a monster, then defeated it's vengeful mother. King Arthur restored the rule of law to a warring, in-fighting land, then managed to defeat the armies of his insane son, dying in the process. The Yellow Emperor, according to Legend, defeated the invasion of a War Deity, his armies, and his demons, invented written language and music, etc.

I still don't see how FR pervents you from doing this?



You don't need to be this grand in scale to be epic, but you /do/ need to be the center of the narrative. Not "Those guys that helped NPC Y do his thing".

Why would the NPCs show up? Their off doing their own thing




EDIT: I'm sorry EE, I missed answering your question. Why is there so little interest in Arab/Oriental campaign suppliments? Well, to be absolutely honest there is a market for them, but politics has reared it's ugly head. WotC decided to not compete with Lot5R with respect to the d20 Oriental campaign market, which was probably a good choice on their part even though it created a Kara-Tur vacuum in 3rd edition. And there was some brand confusion between the Al-Qadim and the pre-existing middle-eastern-like regions in the Forgotten Realms like Calimport and the like. Add in a rather nasty surge of PC 'How dare you caucasians write about non-European cultures in such a condensending way!' feedback that TSR got when they published Al-Qadim and Mazteca... it sorta killed any ambition in that area. WotC might try again, but they had to wait for enough buffer time to pass. With 4th edition, and with FR being pushed by RPGA as the new Living Campaign, there might be enough political will to try again.
1. Wait, wasn't Kara-Tur (and oriental adventures for that matter) rather different from Lot5R in many ways? Spirt folk and all?
2. Couldn't they do a game based off China then? Or mongolia? Indonesia? Or am i just being silly
3. When i read the Al-Qadim it seemed like they were mocking the Europeon cultures for that matter really. I wouldn't know. Can't say for Mazteca, dispite being native american
4. Speaking of which, why couldn't they use Roman or Greek based worlds (culture wise). Or Carthage or Spain for that matter. Cool history that, most of D&D is Tolkien based or England/France.
5. Other cultures i'd like to see include Russia, Germany, Astruia, Ottermen Empire, Hungry, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, India, Africa, Egypt and Morricio more so, Serbia, Moorish Spain or Sealand. I mean you could do so much with those, and i'm sure they all have interesting legends/culturers for games. Heck, Napolianoic French culture alone is amazing


from
EE

Rutee
2008-01-22, 06:52 PM
And how do you handle those near godlike characters?
In general, by not botherring with them until the PCs are on a roughly equivalent level of power. I mean, sure, an expert Sidereal Assassin /could/ find the Circle when they first meet and butcher them all, but that's not narratively interesting. Generally, groups start on the proverbial redshirts to get a feel for each other as players before moving onto actual opponents. Solars are almost never anybody's bitch. They may not be able to kick everyone's ass (For a while), but you do not make them servant girls. The PCs are the ones who generally pick where the story goes, though not generally "How".



The PCs are in a world. A world much like ours where lots is happening all the time and stuff doesn't relate to the PCs. The PCs are in a world and they must work to make themselves known.
Completely unrelated to what you quoted, actually. The Narrative is not the world. The Narrative is the story.





And then thats a matter of option. What if i feel that Ebberon has to many people who are two powerful? Or Manifest? Or Ravenloft? Hell, just because the PCs aren't the biggest fish in the sea doesn't mean the champion is bad
Trim 'em down if you feel there's too many! I'd say the same of Exalted or any other game! If you really feel there's too many that your only option is to be a dust speck, /trim a few down/! Yes, it's a matter of opinion. That's why your game will not be the same as mine!





And thats a bit like the realms, you save one of the dales, or defeat a single dragon you've done something important
...I named high profile worlds and star systems whom are mega wealthy and important. Is the same true of a dale or dragon in FR? 'cause... I wouldn't think so, going from the



Except that isn't really the way the realms are played. Most of the powerful NPCs have nothing to do with the PCs, who are off doing their own thing
PC aren't nothings or somethings, they are what they can make themselves be. Its like a meritocracy, the apcs are god as they can be
I find that unlikely, somehow. THat'd be how it'd be if I were running it, sure, but.





How does the meta plot of FR make the PCs nothings?
If a GM takes the meta plots and the NPCs therein more seriously then the PCs? Easily, because the narrative becomes about the NPCs and their PC Peons, not about what the PCs do.

,

1. We also don't have wizards, magic, and dragon in this world in case you haven't noticed. Does bruce lee count?
2. Well Drizzt has PC levels, he has had adventures like a PC, and generally acts like a PC in his books, i don't see why not
1. We have nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and Bruce Lee was hardly necessary for us to function.
2. I accept your apology </Colbert>



1. Ummm, why wouldn't PCs have a large direct effect on the world? The more fleshed out it is, the more likely your actions will change things
2. Just because they have a little sign saying "We are the heros" doesn't mean the world needs to bend backwards to accommodate them. I'm not quite sure if that is what your saying, it seems a tad bit silly
3. FR isn't a book, the Pcs make as big as a difference as they chose to
4. If Drizzt is a PC, then hasn't he proven PCs can change the world? I mean, all of the Super NPCs had years of cannon adventuring to back them up and they changed
1. With all those uber NPCs to make them irrelevant? Do you really need to ask?
2. That is in fact, /not/ what I am saying. I said they should be movers and shakers, and have a massive effect on their campaign setting. Look at the legends I quoted to you. Tell me Gilgamesh was unimportant, by all means, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, or that he wasn't a major mover and shaker. He was king of the mightiest kingdom, for crying out loud! And he didn't have everything bend over backwards for him. Read some legends, by all means. These people can be major, important, and the like, without being uncontested. That he overcomes every challenge that he faces, aside from Mortality, is not to say that there were no challenges.
3. A Roleplay is a story. FR being a book or not is irrelevant.
4. Drizz't isn't a PC, as he's part of the metaplot. Unless you're roleplaying as FR UberNPCs, anyway.


I still don't see how FR pervents you from doing this?
Uber NPCs that snuff out the PCs the moment they get some steam? Mind, this isn't a requisite; A good GM is in fact, going to avoid this! But it's extremely easy for a bad GM to do, especially with all the metaplot publishings that make all those uber NPCs the centerpieces. The temptation and encouragement to do the same would be stronger in a setting with them at the center of their plot.




Why would the NPCs show up? Their off doing their own thing
Under a good GM? This is absolutely true! Or well, under a good DM, they're /dead/, or things to be overcome or surpassed or whatnot, but not the PC's boss/implacable, undefeatable obstacle.


The intentions of the authors are important, but not when compared to their actual output, because that's what writing is, an attempt to express your thoughts as cleanly as possible to others.
Hm... still disagree, but I'm glad I have a better idea of your view!


Additionally, while I pitched the reboot as an economic decision, I also think the decision is an inherently good one, for the same reasons. The FR that the anti reboot people want already exists. All well and good. Now it's time to let someone else try something new with the name and the setting. Producing a variation which other people like doesn't harm you, after all.
Ah... that is also sensical.
Edit: Caught a few typos.

Prophaniti
2008-01-22, 07:25 PM
The moment a Wizard reaches level 21 the world is, or rather, should be, realistically forever altered - if the Wizard is good - No more hunger, no more crime, No more evil, No more sickness, No more hate.

I cannot bare to play in the Forgotten Realms despite the rich background, simply because of the fact that even WOW/DBZ (which I despise) seem more realistic then FR.

You think DBZ is more realistic? Think about it for a second. Yes, there are a number of very powerful people in the realms, including a few wizards with, at least theoretically, the power to fundamentaly alter reality. There are two main things that hold this power in check.


High-level magic, both wizardly and clerical, represents an enormous investment of time, money, materials and energy, far more so than the game reflects. In order to do anything on the level required to alter reality, a wizard would need a pretty damn good reason to spend all those resources, not to mention access to them in the first place. One level 21 mage would certainly not be able to stop world hunger or war, and even if he could he'd be far more likely to sit up in his mage tower reading tomes and attempting to increase his power.

No matter how powerful you get, there's always someone out there who can hand your head back to you on a plate. Most of the major gods are a good deal more powerful than even a level 40 wizard and don't like when uppity mortals try to alter the fabric of the universe. Even if said powerful wizard merely wants to conquer the world, there are plenty of people who are just, or at least nearly, as powerful who don't want him to.


Yes, FR is a high-power, magic heavy setting, but it remains pretty firmly balanced within itself. Most of it's more powerful denizens like the status quo and would need significant motivation to try changing it. Even then, there are plenty more people, gods, demi-gods and assorted monsters and dragons who would not stand for it.

When there are a good number of people more powerful than the PCs, it's not called a metaplot. It's called a living, breathing world, designed to feel real in the sense that it was here before the PCs and will keep turning after they're dead. This doesn't mean that PCs will always be insignificant, just that they have to work for their fame and fortune. Anything less than this and the world feels pale and contrived, a meaningless figment of your imagination, and all your efforts pointless because there was no challenge in it. There may be groups out there who like it that way, hell for all I know they may make up the majority of gamers. But it's not what I want, nor the people I play with.

FR is an easy setting to play in, an easy setting to balance. Just because there are powerful beings and monsters out there doesn't mean the party will run into one of them every dungeon. It's a whole world, remember? It's not difficult at all to come up with valid and rational reasons for your party to face only foes that challenge it, rather than ones that can annihilate it. And if the party decides to go to the Tower of Mages at Luskan and piss in their drinking water, they should be prepared to face the consequences.

EvilElitest
2008-01-22, 09:55 PM
In general, by not botherring with them until the PCs are on a roughly equivalent level of power. I mean, sure, an expert Sidereal Assassin /could/ find the Circle when they first meet and butcher them all, but that's not narratively interesting. Generally, groups start on the proverbial redshirts to get a feel for each other as players before moving onto actual opponents. Solars are almost never anybody's bitch. They may not be able to kick everyone's ass (For a while), but you do not make them servant girls. The PCs are the ones who generally pick where the story goes, though not generally "How".



Then would it be so hard to imagine a FR game running like that?


Completely unrelated to what you quoted, actually. The Narrative is not the world. The Narrative is the story.

Which moves depending on the players in FR. The players start in Waterdeep, you (the DM) set up a lot of plot points but the players, possessing free will will do what they want and the cool thing is that the world reacts realisticlly to them



Trim 'em down if you feel there's too many! I'd say the same of Exalted or any other game! If you really feel there's too many that your only option is to be a dust speck, /trim a few down/! Yes, it's a matter of opinion. That's why your game will not be the same as mine!
1. But i really don't feel like there to many powerful NPCs. Hell, they aren't even that great, they don't bend the world to their will or control anything
2. Fair enough, you play exatled, i play FR and my own world. I don't like playing exalted, but i admit it is a cool setting (I just can't afford it) but it would upset me if all of the familiar elements of teh game were suddenly gone because of a general recone


...I named high profile worlds and star systems whom are mega wealthy and important. Is the same true of a dale or dragon in FR? 'cause... I wouldn't think so, going from the

same basic idea though, its a big world, lots of stuff to do. If a PC saves a town, their heros. The big NPCs are few and fair between and have a lot of things on their hands to solve all the many problems. They aren't omnipotent or even that influential


I find that unlikely, somehow. THat'd be how it'd be if I were running it, sure, but.
Every game i run, and every FR game i've played in was run that way, and the general idea of the world seems based on that.


If a GM takes the meta plots and the NPCs therein more seriously then the PCs? Easily, because the narrative becomes about the NPCs and their PC Peons, not about what the PCs do.

That is a fault of the GM, not the world, that is not the aim of the setting


1. We have nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and Bruce Lee was hardly necessary for us to function.
2. I accept your apology </Colbert>

1. Bruce lee is out most powerful weapon, far greater than Chuck Norris. But yes, America could destroy FR in a few days
2. Oh, touche



1. With all those uber NPCs to make them irrelevant? Do you really need to ask?
But how do they make them irrelevant? The Uber NPCs do their own thing, fight Uber evils. They don't have the time to get involved with the lower level dudes


2. That is in fact, /not/ what I am saying. I said they should be movers and shakers, and have a massive effect on their campaign setting. Look at the legends I quoted to you. Tell me Gilgamesh was unimportant, by all means, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, or that he wasn't a major mover and shaker. He was king of the mightiest kingdom, for crying out loud! And he didn't have everything bend over backwards for him. Read some legends, by all means. These people can be major, important, and the like, without being uncontested. That he overcomes every challenge that he faces, aside from Mortality, is not to say that there were no challenges.
Sure. But nothing in FR prevents a PC from becoming that. A PC certainly shouldn't start out like that, he/she, as i said, has to earn it. And other epic NPCs don't stop that normally



3. A Roleplay is a story. FR being a book or not is irrelevant.
4. Drizz't isn't a PC, as he's part of the metaplot. Unless you're roleplaying as FR UberNPCs, anyway.

3. To an extent, but it is more of immersing your self in another world and realistically reacting to it as it reacts to you
4. To the contrary Drizzt is rather like a PC if you read his books and is not even that uninfluencal at current (ignoring Drizzt clones). He basically runs like a PC in almost every way, save that he doesn't die as the writer isn't allowed to kill him off. I mean, he is a level 21 character i think, powerful, but not godly


Uber NPCs that snuff out the PCs the moment they get some steam? Mind, this isn't a requisite; A good GM is in fact, going to avoid this! But it's extremely easy for a bad GM to do, especially with all the metaplot publishings that make all those uber NPCs the centerpieces. The temptation and encouragement to do the same would be stronger in a setting with them at the center of their plot.
That can be said for any game, not FR specifically. In any game a bad DM can pull that. Hell, in a FR game it wouldn't even make sense for that to happen. Why would Blackstaff babysit a bunch of random adventures?



Under a good GM? This is absolutely true! Or well, under a good DM, they're /dead/, or things to be overcome or surpassed or whatnot, but not the PC's boss/implacable, undefeatable obstacle.

But that is the fault of the DM, not the world which doesn't encourage that sort of playing at all
from
EE

graymachine
2008-01-22, 10:49 PM
Just going with the OP's post, Forgotten Realms needs a restart for so many reasons. A good one is that any character can kick over a rock and find a +1 sword. A simply pleasant reason is that one will hope that Drizzle and Elminster will only be found in some hell, being molested by demons over and over again, for all time. I know you pointed out that they are suppose to "survive", but I think this counts as such and one can always hope that this will be the case.

Rutee
2008-01-22, 11:09 PM
Then would it be so hard to imagine a FR game running like that?
Yes. Yes it is. I've seen far too many "GMNPC" motivational posters with Elminster or Drizz't on them. And they're only the most iconic, not the only ones possible.


Which moves depending on the players in FR. The players start in Waterdeep, you (the DM) set up a lot of plot points but the players, possessing free will will do what they want and the cool thing is that the world reacts realisticlly to them
A world can react realistically without a metaplot or uber powerful NPCs, which seems to be an extremely easy to gloss over point.



1. But i really don't feel like there to many powerful NPCs. Hell, they aren't even that great, they don't bend the world to their will or control anything
2. Fair enough, you play exatled, i play FR and my own world. I don't like playing exalted, but i admit it is a cool setting (I just can't afford it) but it would upset me if all of the familiar elements of teh game were suddenly gone because of a general recone
1. You're also trying to tell me there aren't too many. I'm trying to clarify the position of those who feel there are, and am growing to agree with them.
2. Then play 4e in 3.5e Faerun? This slavish devotion to the metaplot is in fact part of my point, about it being a problem.


same basic idea though, its a big world, lots of stuff to do. If a PC saves a town, their heros. The big NPCs are few and fair between and have a lot of things on their hands to solve all the many problems. They aren't omnipotent or even that influential
Nnnnnoo, the great big NPCs, if I'm not mistaken, have world shaking epic power that is kept on the downlow so that they don't make their cold war hot. This actually would imply, to me, that they have MASSIVE influence, because they bend all their power towards expanding outside influence, rather then direct combat.


Every game i run, and every FR game i've played in was run that way, and the general idea of the world seems based on that.


That is a fault of the GM, not the world, that is not the aim of the setting



1. Bruce lee was out most powerful weapon, far greater than Chuck Norris. But yes, America could destroy FR in a few days
Fixed. He's quite dead. Yes, he was a better martial artist then Chuck Norris, however.




But how do they make them irrelevant? The Uber NPCs do their own thing, fight Uber evils. They don't have the time to get involved with the lower level dudes
Y-you just said it! Imagine hearing this, if you will.

"Your efforts in risking your life in helping me have been most appreciated! I could have handled that with signifcantly less risk, and more elan, but I was too busy doing important things. Thank you very much!"


Sure. But nothing in FR prevents a PC from becoming that. A PC certainly shouldn't start out like that, he/she, as i said, has to earn it. And other epic NPCs don't stop that normally
Well, actually, I disagree with that too (Earn power? What is this, the real world? If I'm telling an Epic, why would I want to waste my or the group's time with sessions that amount to a training montage, in terms of narrative importance?), but more to the point, given how iconic the FR seems to have been to, at the least, RPG.net, there is a well founded fear that those other epics will, in fact, stop that.



3. To an extent, but it is more of immersing your self in another world and realistically reacting to it as it reacts to you
4. To the contrary Drizzt is rather like a PC if you read his books and is not even that uninfluencal at current (ignoring Drizzt clones). He basically runs like a PC in almost every way, save that he doesn't die as the writer isn't allowed to kill him off. I mean, he is a level 21 character i think, powerful, but not godly
3. That's called simulationism. While there's nothing technically wrong with that, it has a tendency to breed mundanity. I'm /drowning/ in mundanity as a human being. That's what the real world is. Why, oh why, would I want to /add/ to it with my entertainment and fiction?
4. Drizz't is rather like an NPC within his novels. Except your game isn't his novels. He's an NPC, unless you're actually playing as him.



That can be said for any game, not FR specifically. In any game a bad DM can pull that. Hell, in a FR game it wouldn't even make sense for that to happen. Why would Blackstaff babysit a bunch of random adventures?
Can be. But it's further reinforced with a metaplot. See below.




But that is the fault of the DM, not the world which doesn't encourage that sort of playing at all
from
EE
Actually, you're half wrong; The world does encourage that, because there's a metaplot that glorifies the uber NPCs. The setting information may or may not encourage it, on hits own. It'd depend on the writing of the setting info, really; If there's a lot of talk about these uber levels, as opposed to brief exposition and moving on, then the setting info itself encourages it. Regardless of whether the setting info does, /every single novel/ that has these NPCs as main characters continues to encourage that type of DMing. Just because it's bad DMing doesn't mean it isn't subtly encouraged.

horseboy
2008-01-22, 11:25 PM
The moment a Wizard reaches level 21 the world is, or rather, should be, realistically forever altered - if the Wizard is good - No more hunger, no more crime, No more evil, No more sickness, No more hate.

I cannot bare to play in the Forgotten Realms despite the rich background, simply because of the fact that even WOW/DBZ (which I despise) seem more realistic then FR.
LOL! So, wait, what spell does he use to be in multiple places simultaneously? You know, to be in Amn handing out food and water in the desert while holding the Zentherium (with their own slightly lower level casters) in check, on the other side of the planet (where it's dark) stoping the drow slave raiding party and catching the purse snatcher in Waterdeep? Short of Dominating the world, how is he going to stop hate? What kind of hippie bull crap is that?

Even Boris, who'd be around level 41ish wasn't at every City-State, so he had the Dragon Kings rule over them and just give him tribute when he showed up.

BadJuJu
2008-01-23, 12:03 AM
That's just flat not true. Plots start up in Waterdeep literally all the time, canonically, without any help from any PCs. There are all kinds of street gangs in the Dock Ward, not to mention the Shadow Thieves, Red Sashes, Xanathar's Guild, and a laundry list of other secret societies that the Blackstaff neither approves of nor squashes. It is very easy to start a plot in Waterdeep.

What's not easy is just wreaking havoc and/or overthrowing the Lords of Waterdeep, but if that's your goal then you should just make sure you're powerful enough to pull it off.

But, Im not talking about plots to stop some gangsters from robbing a bakery, but real deep plots involving potentially major things. And its really hard to imagine that with 30th lvl wizards literally within a stones throw from you.

All in all, I think its a pretty cool idea and kinda look foward to it. Should be fun to go post apacoliptic in the Realms.

RedShift zX
2008-01-23, 01:36 AM
*Waves hand as total new guy*

anyways...

I also am against this change...I like the realms just the way they are..The characters and cities, backstories and such are what makes FR a enticing place to play, because it has some sense of history to it...Its an established world... and its not just a bunch of hills with a tower on the other side..With a hypothetic obstical course composed of random monsters and traps, with a Lich and a dragon thrown in for good measure.

NPC's getting involved in PC's affairs is bad DM'ing like some others have said here...However, if you affairs attract the direct intervention of old Elminster or whom'ever (assuming your characters are +18 already...and your DM desides to involve them in the first place)..You best be able to handle it. Just My two cents anyways...and who cares if you end up killing him off in your campaign? Its just YOUR campaign..Not the rest of the worlds.

As to FR being "magic heavy"...so what? One of the major differences between the different fantasy settings (FR, WoW, Dragonlance, Greyhawk, etc) is the level of magic involved in them. They all have the same basic races with the same basic behaviors, varied slightly to not seem like COMPLETE rip-offs...But its the magical involvment that sets them apart IMO....And in all honesty...Do you really expect a 20th level fighter, completly outfitted with +5 gear, to be able to win against a 20th level Wizard/Sorcerer? Of course not..At that level a Wizard can simply nuke a warrior right out of his adamantine plate armor before he ever gets close enough with that +5 Bastard sword....Unbalanced? I think not. Simply a different means to an end. Meanwhile a lvl 20 Ftr can tear a wizard apart in melee combat...Not that a wizard will let him get close enough to do it.

I do agree however, that the FR's pantheon is a little too crowded..Theres more gods & goddesses than in my family tree...

One of the appeals about FR, to me, is that you can build your character to god-hood if you soo-wish.. Just immagine what kind of interesting things a character of redonkulously epic powers could do...lets try this..

Fighter: 50
Barbarian: 20
Monk:11
Ranger 12
Wizard: 50

Archmage: 5
Legendary Dreadnaught: 10

Add in a full outfitting of major Epic artifact level weapons & armor & rings etc etc etc, base stats of 25 in each attribute......WHat could you do? Unleash the abyss & the nine hells on Feirune(incorrect spelling)? Prismatic/force Dragons & Demi-gods involved...why not?



anyways...I like the realms the way they are...It seems like they finally have fleshed out the classes in sufficient detail...Just move to a new continent. Not destroy it all and build new stuff because its good for buisness, but bad for the fans.

Bosh
2008-01-23, 01:54 AM
I think that the main problem with FR is that all of the novels are canon. What makes a good setting for a novel might not make a good setting for an RPG, and I would MUCH rather not have my RPG setting polluted with a bunch of creations of hack writers.

Renegade Paladin
2008-01-23, 01:56 AM
But, Im not talking about plots to stop some gangsters from robbing a bakery, but real deep plots involving potentially major things. And its really hard to imagine that with 30th lvl wizards literally within a stones throw from you.
You missed the point. If you ever get a chance, read City of Splendors: Waterdeep. You will be amazed at just how many far-reaching plots are underway by low to mid-level NPCs right under the Blackstaff's nose... and if those lowbies can do it, so can the PCs.

Sebastian
2008-01-23, 04:02 AM
Now the halfling is the only small race left. Really, if they're adding such freaks like dragonborn, warforged and tieflings, why didn't they make kobolds or hobgoblins or Shifters a player race? I like kobolds.

No, you see what actually happened is that gnomes killed all the halfling and replaced them, just changing their name. Because, come on, read the "new halfling description and tell me where those are halflings. Or they all got a sudden growth spurt? (no, seriously, anybody have an idea about why they make halflings taller?)

Grey Paladin
2008-01-23, 05:20 AM
LOL! So, wait, what spell does he use to be in multiple places simultaneously? You know, to be in Amn handing out food and water in the desert while holding the Zentherium (with their own slightly lower level casters) in check, on the other side of the planet (where it's dark) stoping the drow slave raiding party and catching the purse snatcher in Waterdeep? Short of Dominating the world, how is he going to stop hate? What kind of hippie bull crap is that?

Even Boris, who'd be around level 41ish wasn't at every City-State, so he had the Dragon Kings rule over them and just give him tribute when he showed up.

Wish / The Epic Spell "Mirror"

And don't pretend Darksun was even remotely realistic, with all the creatures in the world EVOLVING FROM HALFINGS! =P (Yes, that includes Monsters/Animals)

Assuming we ignore that . . . Boris has Psionic Enchantments, realistically, nothing could face him no matter how far he was(Psionic Enchantment: Animate), Plot Device/Rapid Hand-waving is the only reason for the Dragon Kings.

Prophaniti:

And this is the exact problem, the first person that reaches level 21 as a spellcaster should've enslaved the world with the support of his god, the whole situation is incredibly ridiculous as there are a bunch of demi-gods doing absolutely nothing useful with their powers, sitting on their ass, when the world was theirs to shape however they've seen fit *ages* ago.

Sebastian
2008-01-23, 05:28 AM
Even if we accept that spellcasters need to be took down a notch IMHO the spellplague was totally unneceessary and done more for the flashy effects and because "it is cool" that for any other reason. What could they have done, that would have done a lot more sense is something (not my idea BTW, I found it in a forum)

1) Mystra die (well, it is a given, Mystra always die)

2) magic stop working. period.
Everything magic related stop working or become unreliable/weaker, spells, magic item, even supernatural powers and spell-like abilities, the most powerful like artifacts, mythrals & c. could be unaffected or just weakened.

3) this provoke troubles and instability into the realms, from unrest to full revolutions (just think what could happen in Thay, for example.)

4) the connection between gods and their followers is severed or at least strongly weakened, the faith of their believer can't reach the gods anymore, only the most powerful remain untouched, the other either "starve" to death or are strongly weakened (turn into demigods or lesser powers).

in a hundred years casters develp new, alternative ways to use magic (the new 4e system), in the mean time new fighting styles (the new fighter, rogue, etc powers) are created or imported (from Kara tur, for example) to compensate for the absence of magic.

If you really want to mess up things more, add an invasion of faerun from a country were magic and gods are different enough to be untouched from Mystra's death (someone proposed Maztica) but I think it is not really neccessary.

The dragonborn? They could just from some unexplored land that Faerun is still full of and they are not just there because "a game designer did it"

and if you really want to get rid of the big guns just say that without magic their immortality trick just stop working. After 100 years human spellcasters will be dead.

I am not a big FR fans but if I was I don't think that this scenario would piss me off as much as the WotC's one actually did.

Rutee
2008-01-23, 10:16 AM
(no, seriously, anybody have an idea about why they make halflings taller?)

Yes, and if you read the Races/Classes preview, so would you; Halfings, as printed before, were smaller then toddlers, and lighter. They added a few inches and pounds to make it /slightly/ more believeable that these things could do.. jack. It's not a meaningful change, but it's a sensical one.


LOL! So, wait, what spell does he use to be in multiple places simultaneously? You know, to be in Amn handing out food and water in the desert while holding the Zentherium (with their own slightly lower level casters) in check, on the other side of the planet (where it's dark) stoping the drow slave raiding party and catching the purse snatcher in Waterdeep? Short of Dominating the world, how is he going to stop hate? What kind of hippie bull crap is that?
It is in fact, exactly the recipe that leads to these uber NPCs becoming
Even Boris, who'd be around level 41ish wasn't at every City-State, so he had the Dragon Kings rule over them and just give him tribute when he showed up.
You're a damn spellcaster. Why do you /need/ to be in multiple places at once? Create magic items that grant food, water, etc all over the place, guard them with higher up Golems. Create a custom version of Alarm that goes off when people try to steal one, keep Teleport prepared.

Now, /seriously/, people. If you're not arguing against this change because you play in Living Greyhawk, how can it possibly affect you? Anyone angry for reasons that are roughly "They're killing my games", who does not play Living Greyhawk, is essentially proving my point as to why metaplot is bad.

Edit: To expound on that, it means you're taking the metaplot more seriously then the players who are sitting at your table, or your GM will. *This is bad*, no matter how you slice it. The metaplot, at worst, should be equally important to the players at the table, and preferably significantly less so.

Fhaolan
2008-01-23, 11:07 AM
1. Wait, wasn't Kara-Tur (and oriental adventures for that matter) rather different from Lot5R in many ways? Spirt folk and all?

Yeah, but WotC made a deal with Alderac to make the Lot5R setting one of the official d20 settings back near the beginning of 3rd edition. To do so they co-opted the new version of the Oriental Adventures book to present it, which was previously the domain of Kara-Tur. Once this was done that meant that there was already an Oriental-style official setting for 3rd edition, and WotC didn't want to compete with an official licencee (In fact there might have been a clause in the license contract that disalllowed WotC from publishing any Oriental-style setting for competition reasons. I don't know that for sure, but it 'feels' right.)


2. Couldn't they do a game based off China then? Or mongolia? Indonesia? Or am i just being silly

Kara-Tur was supposedly an Oriental-style setting, meaning it mangled up China, Japan, Korea, etc. In fact, I remember when the original 1st edition version of Oriental Adventures was published, there was a lot of negative feedback rolling around because it wasn't 'Japanese-only' and attempted to mix up the various oriental cultures into a big mess, much like Faerun was a mess of European cultures. Mongolia they also did. That was the Horde campaign expansion for Forgotten Realms. That was another forgettable expansion, much like Mazteca.


3. When i read the Al-Qadim it seemed like they were mocking the Europeon cultures for that matter really. I wouldn't know. Can't say for Mazteca, dispite being native american

*shrug* One of those cases of there being enough noisy interfering people to create a contraversy where none really existed. There was a lot of that kind of thing going around at the time. There still is, but they're not quite as brazen about it.


4. Speaking of which, why couldn't they use Roman or Greek based worlds (culture wise). Or Carthage or Spain for that matter. Cool history that, most of D&D is Tolkien based or England/France.

There are places in FR that are *supposed* to be Spain, Carthage, Constantinople-equivalents, etc. And there were 2nd edition fluff books published for them, if I recall correctly. It's hard for WotC to justify republishing fluff books under the 3rd edition banner though. Or in fact publishing fluff-only books at all. Without some crunch in the books, 3rd edition gamers seem to get upset about them.

And they did put out those Historical Setting books in 2nd edition for Rome, Greece, etc. That was another case of TSR spreading themselves too thin. They only got out the one sourcebook each and never did put out modules or any other supporting material. So no-one cared. GURPS seems to get away with one sourcebook per setting, but D&D doesn't seem to work that way.


5. Other cultures i'd like to see include Russia, Germany, Astruia, Ottermen Empire, Hungry, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, India, Africa, Egypt and Morricio more so, Serbia, Moorish Spain or Sealand. I mean you could do so much with those, and i'm sure they all have interesting legends/culturers for games. Heck, Napolianoic French culture alone is amazing

Sealand? Forgive me, I seem to have a gap. Where's/When's Sealand?

Prophaniti
2008-01-23, 12:16 PM
the first person that reaches level 21 as a spellcaster should've enslaved the world with the support of his god, the whole situation is incredibly ridiculous as there are a bunch of demi-gods doing absolutely nothing useful with their powers, sitting on their ass, when the world was theirs to shape however they've seen fit *ages* ago.

Ok, it seems pretty clear to me that you don't know much about FR. I refer you to my earlier post, which explains in great detail how and why high level spellcasters have not, and likely will not, take over the world.

Spoilered for your convenience:
Think about it for a second. Yes, there are a number of very powerful people in the realms, including a few wizards with, at least theoretically, the power to fundamentaly alter reality. There are two main things that hold this power in check.


High-level magic, both wizardly and clerical, represents an enormous investment of time, money, materials and energy, far more so than the game reflects. In order to do anything on the level required to alter reality, a wizard would need a pretty damn good reason to spend all those resources, not to mention access to them in the first place. One level 21 mage would certainly not be able to stop world hunger or war, and even if he could he'd be far more likely to sit up in his mage tower reading tomes and attempting to increase his power.

No matter how powerful you get, there's always someone out there who can hand your head back to you on a plate. Most of the major gods are a good deal more powerful than even a level 40 wizard and don't like when uppity mortals try to alter the fabric of the universe. Even if said powerful wizard merely wants to conquer the world, there are plenty of people who are just, or at least nearly, as powerful who don't want him to.


Yes, FR is a high-power, magic heavy setting, but it remains pretty firmly balanced within itself. Most of it's more powerful denizens like the status quo and would need significant motivation to try changing it. Even then, there are plenty more people, gods, demi-gods and assorted monsters and dragons who would not stand for it.

When there are a good number of people more powerful than the PCs, it's not called a metaplot. It's called a living, breathing world, designed to feel real in the sense that it was here before the PCs and will keep turning after they're dead. This doesn't mean that PCs will always be insignificant, just that they have to work for their fame and fortune. Anything less than this and the world feels pale and contrived, a meaningless figment of your imagination, and all your efforts pointless because there was no challenge in it. There may be groups out there who like it that way, hell for all I know they may make up the majority of gamers. But it's not what I want, nor the people I play with.

FR is an easy setting to play in, an easy setting to balance. Just because there are powerful beings and monsters out there doesn't mean the party will run into one of them every dungeon. It's a whole world, remember? It's not difficult at all to come up with valid and rational reasons for your party to face only foes that challenge it, rather than ones that can annihilate it. And if the party decides to go to the Tower of Mages at Luskan and piss in their drinking water, they should be prepared to face the consequences.
I also add that there are many gods in FR, each with their own agenda and none who would tolerate another deity's pet taking over everything. Level 21doesn't equal demigod.

Grey Paladin
2008-01-23, 12:45 PM
Ok, it seems pretty clear to me that you don't know much about FR. I refer you to my earlier post, which explains in great detail how and why high level spellcasters have not, and likely will not, take over the world.

I also add that there are many gods in FR, each with their own agenda and none who would tolerate another deity's pet taking over everything. Level 21doesn't equal demigod.

I played FR at about the same time I thought Pokemon was cool, I know a fair bit about it.

Now, to your explaination: Why, then, didn't the first non-god being in existence of such epic might destroyed all competition? Your answer is "because the gods will stop him", well, that bastard likely has a support of a bunch of gods of his own, who support him with all their might so they can permamently destroy the worshippers - thus gods - of the competition. Now think realisticaly,The moment you have a Mortal with epic spellcasting supported by countless epic Spellcasting mooks (Solars/Pit Fiends/Ect) you don't even need to try and pull off anything cheesy, you summon the hosts of heaven to do your biding/Destroy all life on earth/Mindrape the universe with your now Infinity+1 Spellcraft.

Or in non-crunch terms: All these epic characters running around with the capability to reshape the universe at their whim (Wish) are ridiculous - The gods are waging a cold war since the dawn of time, the moment one side develops a nuke, what can possibly motivate that side not to destroy all opposition before it develops a similar weapon?

Douglas
2008-01-23, 12:55 PM
you summon the hosts of heaven to do your biding/Destroy all life on earth/Mindrape the universe with your now Infinity+1 Spellcraft.
If the hosts of heaven were capable of doing that in the first place, they would not need an epic spellcaster to summon them first. Solars and Planetars are quite capable of making their own way unassisted to the material plane (just cast Gate, it's a 9th level cleric spell and they have 20th and 17th level cleric casting) and can bring along plenty of underlings in the process. If there were enough of them to overrun the world, it wouldn't matter whether there was an epic spellcaster capable of summoning them or not, they'd just go ahead and do it if it fit their agenda.

Prophaniti
2008-01-23, 01:04 PM
*snip*
Again, you're missing the main point. High level spellcasting is much more difficult, time consuming and resource demanding than the game reflects. Summoning creatures is also much more difficult in the 'reality' of FR than the game reflects. A single wizard, no matter how high-level you wish to go, could not directly control even a significant portion of the hosts of Heaven or the Hells.

Also, I keep wanting to say this, and it's finally come to the fore.
Wish Does Not Work That Way!
The spell is fickle and unpredictable. Actually, all magic is fickle and unpredictable at times, much more so than you see reflected in the rules, which are designed for ease of use, and any mage who attempts to significantly alter the universe with it deserves the mess he will likely find himself in, as well as the very angry deities that will shortly descend upon him.


Which brings me to the Gods. They are many and varied, and no two are likely to support the same person as a candidate for World Domination. Even if they did, there are gods specifically assigned to preserving the status quo (Helm) and an overlord god (Ao) who has already spanked the rest of the gods once for being bad kids and will do so again if necessary.

Why haven't they destroyed each other or the world yet? The same reason that we didn't nuke ourselves in the real cold war. MAD. Look it up.

Drakron
2008-01-23, 01:23 PM
Yeah, but WotC made a deal with Alderac to make the Lot5R setting one of the official d20 settings back near the beginning of 3rd edition. To do so they co-opted the new version of the Oriental Adventures book to present it, which was previously the domain of Kara-Tur.

Well ...

WotC acquired Lot5R, then they started the usual ... crapping out a novel line that was not up to AEG liking and they tried to recover Lot5R back, that they did.

Also they really did not liked OA and have pretty much ignored it, in fact for a time they released their books with dual d10/d20 stats but dropped the d20 system (since OA is out of print).

You know what I think of this FR reboot?

Its WotC trying to sell moar ****ty novelizations ... in a way I am sad for seeing FR being destroyed but then again its not like I was not seeing this coming.

I am glad I got out of paying for WotC products with 3.5 ...